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Hindu Masjids 

Prafull Goradia 

Hindu Masjids 

By the same author: 

• The Saffron Book (available) 

Many Splendour ed Hindutva 

• An Unfinished Agenda 

Population transfer 

• Anti-Hindus 

Cover: Depicts the desecration of mandirs and their conversion into masjids 

Hindu Masjids 

Prafull Goradia 

Tarcctt Contemporary Targett Prafull Pvt Ltd 

Former publisher of Capital, India's only business weekly from 1888 to 1935 


Hindu Masjids 

First Reprint 2004 
ISBN 81-7523-311-8 

Published by Contemporary Targett Prafull Pvt. Ltd., 203-A Prakash House, 
4379/4B, Ansari Road, New Delhi - 1 10 002. 
Printed and bound in India at Replika Press Pvt. Ltd. 

Friendship between the Hindus 
and the Muslims is essential if 
India is to catch up on its lost 


Dedication v 
List of Photographs xiii 

I The Challenge 1 

1 The Conflict 3 

II Shuddhi in Stone 9 

2 Shuddhi by British 1 1 
Temple beheaded for the ego ofAurangzeb 

3 Incomplete Shuddhi 19 

4 Spontaneous Shuddhi 23 

The spontaneous use of the dargah of Sultan Ghari 
where Hindus perform puja side by side with 
Muslims performing ibaadat 

5 Waterloo of Aryavarta 28 

Kannauj was the centre of northern Hindustan until 
it was destroyed by Muslim invaders 

6 Reclaimed Temple at Mahaban 39 

Temple ofRohini, desecrated by Mahmud Ghazni, 
Alauddin and Aurangzeb, again a mandir 

7 Qutbuddin and 27 Mandirs 44 
Desecration near Qutb Minar 

8 Instant Vandalism 

In 60 hours a set of splendid temples at Ajmer'were 
converted into a masjid 

9 Ghazni to Alamgir 
Repeated destruction at Mathura 

10 Christian Tears 

An evangelist's heart went out to Benares 

1 1 Ataladevi Masjid 

In 1403 AD Ibrahim Naib Barbak ordered all Hindus 
to quit the city so that only Muslims could live there 

1 2 Four Vandals, One Temple 

Vidisha was desecrated in turn by lltutmish, Alauddin 
Khilji, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and Aurangzeb 

13 Bhojshala Masjid 

Entry has been banned except once a year for the 
Hindus and 52 times for the Muslims 

14 Seven Temples Kept Buried 

An example of Muslim appeasement 

15 Adina Masjid 

Shiv mandir desecrated 

16 Jungle Pirbaba 
Mazaar was a mandir 

17 Mandir and Dargah in One Building 

A Hindu became a Muslim to save the mandir 

18 Shuddhi by Government 

A full circle. From Jain temple to masjid to Bharat 
Mata mandir 

Contents ix 

19 Iconoclasm Continues in Pakistan, Bangladesh 126 
and in Kashmir 

Appendix I - Hindu places of worship desecrated 131 
in Kashmir since 1990 

Appendix II - Hindu places of worship desecrated 133 
in Kashmir in 1986 

Appendix III - Province-wise list of some Hindu temples 135 
destroyed in Pakistan 

20 American Professor on Temple Desecration 138 

Richard M. Eaton, Professor of History, University 
of Arizona has listed 80 temple desecrations and 
has charted them on three maps 

III Anti-Hindu Hindus 151 

21 Ghazni and Nehru 153 

Did Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru downplay Sultan 
Mah mud's atrocities out of fear? Or, was it to 
please his Muslim friends? 

22 Is A Communist Always Anti-Hindu? 1 56 

23 Are Some Intellectuals Perverse? 160 

24 Are Some Eminent Indians Anti-Hindu? 165 

25 Ambedkar, a True Hindu 172 

26 Swaraj Meant Saving the Khalifa 176 

27 Archaeological Surveys 180 
British discoveries and Indian concealments 

28 Hindu Future after Black Tuesday 185 

IV Strategy 189 

29 Negotiate with China 191 

30 Make Muslims Realise 195 

31 Win Over the Northeast 1 99 

32 Persuade Bangladesh 203 

33 Prevail Over Pakistan 209 



Hindu Masjids 

V Domination versus Accommodation 21 1 

34 Islam in Europe 213 

35 Jerusalem 223 

The Crescent Confronts Star of David 
and the Cross 

36 Taliban 227 
Example of Dar-ul Islam 

37 Separatism in China 231 

38 Chisti Inspired Ghauri 234 

39 Slavery in Medieval India 237 

40 Hindu Muslim Schism 240 

41 Horrors of Partition 245 

42 Travancore, a Hindu Polity 252 

43 A Hindu State at Work 255 

44 Islam at Cross Roads 259 

Has Black Tuesday, 11th September 2001 begun a 
new chain of crusades? 

VI Missing Link 263 

45 Collective Honour 264 

VII Myth of Modern History 269 

That the British divided India in order to rule is a 
widely held belief of Indians 

46 British Imperialism Compared 270 
Dutch, French and Portuguese were worse 

47 British Contribution 274 
Acknowledgements 280 
Annexurel Act No. VII of 1904 281 


Contents xi 

Annexure II The Ancient and Historical Monuments 291 
and Archaeological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 

Annexure III The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological 313 
Sites and Remains Act, 1958 

Annexure IV The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) 327 
Act, 1991 

References 333 

Index 337 

List of Photographs 

SI. No. Caption Page No. 

1. Aurangzeb, the Great Mughal and 17th century desecrator of xvii 

2. Gobind Dev temple whose top half was beheaded by 13 
Aurangzeb and the rest converted into a mosque 

3. The defaced statues outside the sanctum sanctorum of Gobind 14 

4. The beheaded temple turned mosque with a mehrab on top built 15 
for Aurangzeb to pray. Reproduced from History of Indian and 
Eastern Architecture by James Fergusson, John Murray, 
London, 1899. The mehrab was removed by F.S. Growse, 
Magistrate, Mathura District after 1870 

5. The only two statues of Krishna and Radha which were 16 
overlooked by the iconoclasts of Gobind Dev temple 

6. Defaced statuettes inside Gobind Dev temple 17 

7. The roof of Sultan Ghari's tomb at Delhi which was once a 25 
temple, then a mosque and now both 

8. Entrance to Sultan Ghari 26 

9. Jami Masjid of Kannauj, a temple pavilion converted into a 29 
mosque with a small shallow dome over the mimbar 

10. Makhdoom Jahaniya Dargah at Kannauj converted from a 31 
temple but without a dome over the mimbar 


Hindu Masjids 

SI. No. Caption Page No. 

11. Beautiful interior of Makhdoom Jahaniya which was evidently 33 
a temple 

12. Front of Jami Masjid at Etawah 36 

13. Inside Jami Masjid at Etawah with a carved temple pillar 37 
recently coated with aluminium paint in an attempt to conceal 

the carvings 

14. Many of the 80 pillars visible at the temple of Rohini in 41 
Mahaban near Gokul, converted into a mosque and now again a 

1 5 . Graves of Ruskhan and his brother at the northern end of Rohini 43 
temple, Mahaban 

16. Rows of temple pillars that now form a pavilion in the 45 
Quwwatul Islam mosque next to Qutb Minar, Delhi 

1 7. Pillar with defaced statuettes at Quwwatul Islam mosque 46 

18. The defaced statuettes on the pillars of Quwwatul Islam 48 
mosque, Delhi 

19. A pillar with defaced statuettes in Quwwatul Islam mosque 49 

20. A Ganesh idol with its trunk cut off, on the outer wall of 51 
Quwwatul Islam mosque, Delhi 

2 1 . Vandalised statuettes at Quwwatul Islam mosque 5 2 

22. A Hindu idol on an outer wall of Quwwatul Islam mosque, 53 

23. Interior profile of triple temples at Ajmer converted by 55 
Qutbuddin Aibak in 60 hours, hence called Adhai Din Ka 

24. Tall temple pillars at Adhai Din Ka Jhopra, Ajmer 56 

25. Statues found at Adhai Din Ka Jhopra displayed in Rajputana 57 
Museum, Akbar Fort, Ajmer 

26. Calligraphic arches added later to give an Islamic look to Hindu 59 

27. Carved figurines near entrance to the Jhopra 60 
2 8 . Tablet of Archaeological Survey at the Adhai Din Ka Jhopra 6 1 

List of Photographs 


SI. No. Caption Page No. 

29. Back view of Idgah built in place of Keshava Dev mandir 65 
desecrated by Aurangzeb at Mathura 

30. Another view of the Idgah built by Aurangzeb at Mathura 67 

3 1 . Frontage of Ataladevi masjid at Jaunpur 72 

32. Temple colonnade in Ataladevi with dome added later 73 

33. Inside Ataladevi masjid, a pillar with stone brackets between 74 
which there was a statue, since destroyed 

34. Profile of Char Ungli or Khalis-Mukhlis masjid, Jaunpur, 75 
originally a temple of Bijay Mandal 

35. Jhanjri masjid, Jaunpur, originally Chachakpur temple 76 

36. The interior of the Bijamandal mosque, Vidisha, which was a 81 
splendid temple desecrated four times by four Badshahs 

37. Three defaced statues inside the Bijamandal temple 82 

38. The Bijamandal mosque, Vidisha, seen from the western side 83 

39. A beheaded statue in Bijamandal temple 84 

40. Author and colleagues prevented from entering Bhojshala 89 

41. Entrance to Bhojshala mandir, Dhar, turned into a mosque with 90 
a dargah on the right 

42. Statue of Goddess Saraswati taken from Bhojshala for display 91 
at British Museum, London 

43. Sanctum Sanctorum of former temple inside Lat masjid 92 

44. Interior of Lat masjid, Dhar with its temple pillars 93 

45. Profile of a Hindu statue on a pillar in Lat masjid, Dhar 94 

46. Temple pillars inside Lat masjid 95 

47. Southern face of Adina mosque, Pandua, Malda district, West 101 

48. Ganesh and consort dancing on the southern wall of Adina 103 
mosque, Pandua 

49. Frescoe of Ganesh on the crest of a door of Adina mosque, 104 

50. A statuette on a doorway of Adina mosque, Pandua 105 


Hindu Masjids 

SI. No. Caption Page No. 

51. Dargah of Jungle Pirbaba Baniban, Howrah district, converted 109 
overnight from a Shiv temple 

52. Doorway of Jungle Pirbaba dargah 1 1 1 
5 3 . Domes of mandir and dargah on the same roof at Pavagadh 1 1 5 
54. Steps to Kali temple, Pavagadh 1 1 6 
5 5 . Row of statues at Pavagadh 1 1 7 

56. Beheaded pillars of Jain temple at Devgiri later named 121 
Daulatabad by Allaudin Khilji 

57. Pillar with statuettes at Daulatabad 1 22 

58. Doorway at Daulatabad fort with defaced statuette 123 

59. Image of Bharat Mata installed at Daulatabad after police action 124 
against the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1948 

60. A) Temple desecrations, 1 192-1394, imperialism of the Delhi 140 
Sultanate (Map) 

61. B) Temple desecrations, 1394-1600, the growth of regional 141 
sultanates (Map) 

62. C) Temple desecrations, 1600-1760, expansion and 142 

reassertions of Mughal authority (Map) 

63. 1921 150 

64. Photograph by N. Thiagarajan 1 52 

65. Sri Krishna 188 

66. Peoples' Liberation Army soldiers go through their paces 190 

67. The great church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was built by the 218 
Byzantine emperor Justinian in the Sixth century. It was 
transformed into a mosque after the Ottomans conquered 
Constantinople in 1453, and the minarets were added then 

68. After the Christians reconquered Spain from Muslim rule, 219 
many mosques were changed into churches. In Seville, for 
example, the top of the fifty-meter-high minaret of the 
Almohed mosque, built from 1 184 to 1 198, was remodelled and 
transformed into a cathedral belltower 



Hindu Masjids 

I The Challenge 

Hindu masjids personify the deep chasm, or the sharp conflict between the Hindu 
ethos and Muslim zealotry. The conflict must be resolved. Why are we anxious? 
For the simple reason that without resolution, India cannot acquire the spirit of col- 
lective honour. And without national pride, the country cannot leap forward. Indi- 
vidual citizens may flourish or shine, as they do even now, whether at home' or 
overseas. But the collective performance of the country disappoints. 

Many a Samaritan has tried to bridge the Hindu/Muslim chasm. Perhaps no one 
tried more than Mahatma Gandhi who went to extraordinary lengths by leading the 
khilafat movement in 1919 whose logical conclusion was anti-national. Yet his 
mission failed and eventually India was partitioned. The reason, possibly was that 
well meaning bridge builders did not comprehend the mismatch between the Hindu 
psyche and Muslim mind. It is well known that the conceptual purpose of an aver- 
age Hindu is self actualisation. Or fulfill himself by the best of karma which should 
eventually lead to moksha, mukti or nirvana. The Hindu universe consists of all liv- 
ing beings including animals, birds, reptiles et al. Since souls transmigrate, ideally 
violence should not exist. 

On the other hand, the Judaic approach, whose most assertive vanguard is Islam, 
divides humanity whether between Jews and gentiles, Christians and heathens or 
between momins and kafirs. Islam enjoins on the momin to convert as many kafirs 
as possible to his religion. While doing so, he has to try and dominate whatever and 
whomever he can. Domination therefore is the central thrust of Islam. Whereas 
accommodation is the core of Hinduness. To bridge the gulf between the desire to 
dominate and readiness to accommodate is the challenge before all Indians. 

This book is based on personal visits of the author to all the masjids that have 
been described. Visits were made in 2000 and 2001. The photographs that accom- 


Hindu Masjids 

pany the text bear out what was discovered. Until the advent of the Lodhis, most 
masjids were merely converted from mandirs by replacing the idols with mehrabs 
and by defacing the temple statuettes. Little wonder that the masjids still look like 
mandirs. Mosques which were constructed by recycling the rubble of desecrated 
temples have a different look. This is the first time that this distinction has been 
made between the directly converted (temples into masjids) and temples rubble 
that has been recycled into new mosques. 

So much for the Hindu/Muslim conflict at the macro level. A smaller although 
more poignant challenge, is that of the area that surrounds each Hindu masjid. To 
a majority of the people, the long remembered temple in the neighbourhood was 
about the only reachable point of pilgrimage. Nothing broke their heart more than 
its desecration. Do we not owe them back their mandir? 

1 The Conflict 

Each time an article on the author's visit to a temple converted into a mosque ap- 
peared in print, some friend or the other phoned to say: "why are you digging up 
the past? Do you want the Hindus to take revenge? Do you wish to humiliate fellow 
Indians who happen to be Muslim? Will not your article arouse anger which may 
lead to bloodshed?" Seeing a bunch of several such articles, an intellectual at Kochi 
declared that they can, if read widely, provoke rivers of blood a la Enoch Powell! 

The author's intentions are farthest from raising such emotions. In fact, they are 
the opposite of such mischief since he cherishes the sole objective of uniting Indi- 
ans. The greatest obstacle is the chasm between Hindus and Muslims. It led in 1947 
to the partition of the country. Even the creation of Pakistan has not helped in 
bridging the gap. I believe that many Hindu leaders have been at once afraid, hyp- 
ocritical and opportunistic. Fear of the Muslim has been deep and wide. Since it is 
embarrassing to admit as much, leaders have taken cover behind secularism and 
broadmindedness. Is this not hypocrisy? Appeasement in order to secure the Mus- 
lim vote has been the opportunism of leaders. 

On his part, the average Muslim is blissfully unaware to what extent rulers 
among his forefathers have hit the Hindu psyche and thereby hurt it. How is he to 
know? The Hindu has done little to tell him. Instead, many a Hindu political leader 
has gone out of his way to pamper the Muslim for electoral support. This book is 
an attempt to bridge the communication gap, to be frank and to enable a heart to 
heart dialogue. That is the only way to bury hatred built over centuries and build 
friendship amongst the two communities. As in marriage, so in friendship, confess, 
confide and concede, if justified. 

Another reason for this book is to try and inform Hindus in the hope that right 
steps would be taken and confidence regained. It was not for nothing that 


Hindu Masjids 

Mahatma Gandhi was exasperated enough to write that every Hindu is a coward 
while every Muslim is a bully. Whatever be the truth, it is a fact that the average 
Hindu is diffident compared to many other peoples, which in turn makes Hindustan 
a diffident country. Contrast ourselves with the way the Chinese, especially as a 
nation, conduct themselves.They consider theirs as the world's central country. 
Incidentally, chung means central or middle and wah is country. And China in Chi- 
nese is called Chungwah. True, China had a central monarchy and a bureaucratic 
state since 259BC and even today the Chinese recall their history, not by the cen- 
tury but by dynasty. 

The first was the Qin dynasty followed by the Han, the Ming and, lastly, the 
Manchu or Qing dynasties. Nevertheless, the country suffered a setback for a cen- 
tury or more when the central authority lost its grip and each regional warlord was 
his own master. During the 1 9th century, Britain, France, the US and Germany all 
forcibly extracted trading privileges including the right to import and sell opium. 
Japan invaded and conquered parts of China in 1937. The country regained its 
political self respect only in 1949 and started on the path of economic prosperity 
after 1978. Yet the people did not lose their pride and confidence. A great deal of 
our territory is under Chinese occupation. Sooner or later, we have to resolve this 
issue and that can be done only if India evolves a strategy suited to its own genius. 
In illustrating what is strategy the Sino-Indian dispute has been used. So have our 
north-eastern seven sister states also been used, although neither directly relates 
to the Hindu Muslism syndrome. 

Unfortunately, we have had to suffer a continuous history of conquests and for- 
eign rule for over seven centuries. It will take time for the Hindu mindset to be 
raised from servitude to mastery. Hindus can move faster if they have an under- 
standing of their history. It would then be feasible to diagnose the slavery complex 
that haunts the upper fringes of Hindu society. Amongst the intelligentsia, there are 
many anti-Hindu Hindus. If the upper echelon of society is embarrassed about its 
collective identity, namely Hindu, how can the society regain its pride and self con- 

Regrettably, a great deal of India's history is a product of prejudices. Iconoclasm 
was a major misfortune of Hindustan. Temples, by the hundred, if not by the thou- 
sand, were desecrated and then converted into mosques and dargahs. Or, they were 
destroyed and their rubble was used to build mosques. In all cases, the deities were 
buried under mosque entrances so that they could be easily trampled upon by those 
who came to offer prayers. How the iconoclasts wounded Hindu sentiments and 

The Challenge 


how much they traumatised the indigenous civilisation can only be a matter of con- 
jecture. But surely the destruction of Hindu temples is a fact. Why then does it not 
find mention in any of the textbooks on Indian history? 

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, 1 who founded Aligarh Muslim University, is surely a 
reliable authority. Read what he has written in Asar-us-Sanadid etc.: 

Quwwat al-Islam Masjid: "When Qutbu'd-Din, the commander-in-chief of 
Muizzu'd-Din Sam alias Shihabu'd-Din Ghuri, conquered Delhi in AH 587 corre- 
sponding to AD 1191 corresponding to 1248 Bikarmi, this idol-house (of Rai 
Pithora) was converted into a mosque. The idol was taken out of the temple. Some 
of the images sculptured on walls or doors or pillars were effaced completely, some 
were defaced. But the structure of the idol-house kept standing as before. Materials 
from twenty-seven temples, which were worth five crores and forty lakhs ofDilwals, 
were used in the mosque, and an inscription giving the date of conquest and his 
own name was installed on the eastern gate... 

When Malwah and Ujjain were conquered by Sultan Shamsu'd-Din in AH 631 
corresponding to AD 1233, then the idol-house of Mahakal was demolished and its 
idols as well as the statue of Raja Bikramajit were brought to Delhi, they were 
strewn in front if the door of the mosque... 

In books of history, this mosque has been described as Masjid-I-Adinah and 
Jama ' Masjid Delhi, but Masjid Quwwat al-Islam is mentioned nowhere. It is not 
known as to when this name was adopted. Obviously, it seems that when this 
idol-house was captured, and the mosque constructed, it was named Quawwat al- 
Islam .... 

Let us now see what a Christian evangelist, Reverend Mathew Atmore Sherring 2 
wrote about Benaras (The Sacred City of the Hindus, 1868): 

When we endeavour to ascertain what the Mohammedans have left to the Hin- 
dus of their ancient buildings in Benares, we are startled at the result of our inves- 
tigations. Although the city is bestrewn with temples in every direction, in some 
places very thickly, yet it would be difficult, I believe, to find twenty temples, in all 
Benares, of the age of Aurungzeb, or from 1658 to 1707. The same unequal pro- 
portion of old temples, as compared with new, is visible throughout the whole of 
Northern India. Moreover, the diminutive size of nearly all the temples that exist is 
another powerful testimony to the stringency of the Mohammedan rule. It seems 


Hindu Masjids 

clear, that, for the most part, the emperors forbade the Hindus to build spacious 
temples, and suffered them to erect only small structures, of the size of cages, for 
their idols, and these of no pretensions to beauty. 

Sherring went on to say: 

If there is one circumstance respecting the Mohammedan period which Hindus 
remember better than another, it is the insulting pride of the Musulmans, the out- 
rages which they perpetrated upon their religious convictions, and the extensive 
spoliation of their temples and shrines. It is right that Europeans should clearly 
understand, that this spirit of Mohammedanism is unchangeable, and that, if, by 
any mischance, India should again come into the possession of men and this creed, 
all the churches and colleges, and all the Mission institutions, would not be worth 
a week's purchase. 

A British civil servant had a great deal to say about Mathura in the 1870s. 
F.S. Growse 3 belonged to the Bengal Civil Service and was the Collector of Math- 
ura district. I quote from his "Mathura: A District Memoir,'' Bulandshahr 1882: 

The neighbourhood is crowded with sacred sites, which for many generations 
have been reverenced as the traditionary scenes of Krishna's adventures; but 
thanks to Muhammedan intolerance, there is not a single building of any antiquity 
either in the city itself or its environs. Its most famous temple - that dedicated to 
Kesava Deva — was destroyed, as already mentioned, in 1669, the eleventh year of 
the reign of the iconoclastic Aurangzeb. The mosque erected on its ruins is a build- 
ing of little architectural value, but the natural advantages of its lofty and isolated 
position render it a striking feature in the landscape. 

This truth is abhorrent but must be faced squarely if only to bring about Hindu/ 
Muslim amity and to secure the unity of India. We all know that for five centuries 
some Muslim rulers oppressed their Hindu subjects. They carried away young 
women and killed the men unless they converted to Islam. They extracted Jizya or 
protection tax and desecrated temples by the hundred. But then, all conquerors 
commit atrocities. Such cruelties also took place in central as well as west Asia, as 
well as in Europe through Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia right upto Spain. Catholics burnt 
Protestants at the stake just as Protestants butchered Catholics. 

Yet nowhere else is the hatred as chronic and deep rooted as in India. Why? 
Because here, like did not oppress like. The Hindu psyche is entirely different from 

The Challenge 


the Muslim assumption. In Hindustan there was a clash between coexistence and 
domination, two radically different mentalities. Not merely the Muslim but Judaic 
peoples generally are born and bred on the assumption that it is legitimate to dom- 
inate others. Whereas the Hindu thrives on accommodation and coexistence. 

The Jews and the Muslims clash and kill each other in West Asia. They get hurt 
but neither is traumatised. The Christians and Muslims fought the crusades no less 
ruthlessly. They maimed or bled one another and destroyed churches and mosques, 
but it was like battling like. Hence there was injury but no real trauma, no ultimate 
surprise. Everyone spoke, as it were, the same language of combat and understood 
the legitimacy of one trying to dominate the other, depending on who was stronger. 
Not so the votary of coexistence, the Hindu. 

Jehovah to the Jew, Jesus to the Christian and Allah to the Muslim are well 
known. Each is omnipotent, omnipresent and only one supreme divine or the ulti- 
mate in domination; the Almighty to his followers. The Judaic faith begins here. It 
is legitimate for the followers of Jehovah to displace those of Jesus or of Allah in 
the race for winning more followers. A devout Christian would be happiest if all 
the world's people prayed to Christ. As a pious Muslim would have done his ulti- 
mate duty to Allah if he could get every human being to tasleem or accept His will. 
In the process, he might have to desecrate, fight or even kill. 

Not so the Hindu. His ethos accepted newcomers but never persuaded them to 
convert. There was no method for conversion. Swami Dayanand Saraswati how- 
ever introduced shuddhi or purification whereby a former Hindu could return to his 
faith. The question of fighting for new followers never arose. At the level of expla- 
nation or philosophy, there is no concept of God or any individual supreme author- 
ity. The Hindu's faith is in the paramatma or the total soul comprising of the 
mini-souls of all living beings. This totality is the divine. Ram, Krishna, Gautam 
Buddha or Mahavir Swami were merely liberated souls who returned to earth to 
redeem a degenerate world. In short, by Hindu explanation, the divine and the 
humans are partners, although differing in importance. But there is no question of 
absolute dominance. 

The belief that all living beings are parts of his universe, makes the Hindu reluc- 
tant to hurt others. Hindus do kill but many of them feel guilty about such acts. 
Such feelings are at the root of non-violence as a philosophical preference. The 
belief in the transmigration of souls makes the Hindu lean towards vegetarianism. 
How can a Hindu quite enjoy the meat of some animal in whom may reside the soul 


Hindu Masjids 

of his departed parent or relative? All in all, when a Hindu clashes with a Muslim, 
it is essentially a battle between a horse and a leopard, between a herbivore and a 
carnivore. An unequal combat leaves the herbivore helpless and traumatised. For 
one, he is not at home with the cut and thrust of violence. For another, and more 
importantly, the herbivore has few ways of retaliating even if he survives to fight 
another day. He was therefore stunned; first by Mahmud Ghazni and finally by 

Quiet hatred is the escape for the traumatised Hindu. Few Muslims realise how 
deeply they have wounded the Hindu psyche. The reason is that, unlike Christians 
in the crusades, Hindus have not paid back in the same coin. How then is the Mus- 
lim to know? Think of how much sound and fury did the Babri episode arouse. No 
Hindu however has said that 62 temples were desecrated in Bangladesh during 
1990 alone; a good two years before Babri. Many more after 6th December, 1992. 
So has written Taslima Nasrin. In Pakistan, 178 temples met the same fate. Within 
India, in Kashmir to be precise, some 27 mandirs were destroyed. Instead of pro- 
testing many a Hindu exclaims: "how can one right medieval wrongs with modern 
retaliation?" Surely there was neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh in medieval times. 
More recently, the Buddha was felled at Bamiyan. 

To break idols and bring down temples, is a way of ensuring that Allah remains 
the only one. So that no worshipper is distracted from his devotion to Him. But at 
what cost to the Hindu psyche has this been done dear friends? Just go and see the 
Hindu masjids that have been described. Visit them and you will realise. 

II Shuddhi in Stone 

A mosque, which is obviously still the structure of a temple and can be used by 
Hindus for worship, should be returned. There are many such edifices where the 
sanctum sanctorum has been walled up, a mehrab constructed towards the direc- 
tion of Holy Mecca and the statuettes defaced. In some cases, a small dome has 
been built above the mimbar or the pulpit. For Muslims to pray in such edifices is 
like using stolen property in full and continual public view. And that too for re- 
membering Allah! 

Iconoclasm was endemic to Islamic invaders and desecration of temples was 
widespread. At the end of this section are reproductions of three maps, a list of 
iconoclastic examples and the sources thereof. Although the list, covering the 
period 1 192-1760 AD, is not exhaustive, it is by an American, Richard M. Eaton, 4 
Professor of History, University of Arizona. The maps as well as the list are taken 
from his Essays on Islam and Indian History, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 

Shuddhi means purification. A pure end should be achieved by pure means. 
Talking to Muslim politicians is unnecessary. For one, there are no real leaders of 
national stature, whose word would carry weight with the masses. Second, politi- 
cians are likely to have their own agendas which can vitiate any issue. It is best to 
address the masses directly. If any politicians listen in, let them. Be frank, be forth- 
right. No crooked motive, no devious manoeuvre. Neither threat nor violence. Tell 
our Muslim brethren, all we ask of them is: return what belonged to us and what 
today we can convince you is clearly ours. That would be in the spirit of shuddhi. 

A few masjids have undergone shuddhi, whether in full or part, while others are 
still unattended and deserve a change. For example, the Gobind Dev mandir at 
Vrindavan was returned to the Hindus by the British some 130 years ago. While 


Hindu Masjids 

Sultan Ghari at Delhi became a place of worship for all people; when, no one really 
knows. The saga at Ayodhya is incomplete. While the Nand and Rohini temple pal- 
ace at Mahaban is believed to have been redeemed in the wake of independence. 
The edifices at Kannauj and Etawah have not undergone any stage of shuddhi. 
Sjnce the cities are situated in Uttar Pradesh, the Waterloo of Aryavrat is a part of 
the series in the area. 

Quwwatul Islam at Delhi and the Adhai Din Ka Jhopra at Ajmer tell the tale of 
vandalism so eloquently that the viewer is shocked as he enters these masjids. The 
Krishnajanmabhoomi as well as Kashi Vishwanath are making do with pathetic 
alternatives for no shuddhi whatsoever has taken place. So also Ataladevi at Jaun- 
pur and Bhojshala at Dhar. At Vidisha, all worship has been suspended while a 
great deal of the Rudra Mahalaya complex remains buried. The Adina masjid- at 
Malda has fallen into disuse as a place of worship, whereas Jungle Pir Baba as well 
as the shrine at Pavagadh are in full use as dargahs. Daulatabad is a case of redemp- 
tion which took place on the morrow of the police action in 1 948 against the Nizam 
of Hyderabad. 

Each chapter is independent, stands on its own and there is no particular logic to 
its placement in the section. All in all, the edifices are monuments to the Hindu 
Muslim conflict. Merely because not many lay people have taken conscious notice 
of them, does not reduce their importance. Not all of them are objects of active con- 
troversy today, nevertheless, when visited, they are reminders of a deep conflict. If 
the appeal made in these pages leaves Muslim masses cold, tell them to abandon 
the edifices on the ground that they are objects of robbery or loot and should be too 
profane to be ever used for worshipping Allah, the Merciful. 

2 Shuddhi by British 

Temple beheaded for the ego of Aurangzeb 

The temple today is 55 feet tall. Before its upper part was destroyed on 
Aurangzeb's orders in anticipation of his visit to Vrindavan in 1670 AD, the mandir 
was reputed to be twice that height. On its roof, after the destruction, a mehrab or 
prayer wall was erected and the iconoclastic emperor offered namaaz. Almost two 
centuries later, F.S. Growse, who belonged to the Bengal Civil Service and was 
Collector of Mathura District, had the mehrab removed. First, because it was an 
eyesore, and second, in an endeavour to redeem whatever character was left of the 
temple. Although the original idol remained at Jaipur, another set of deities was 
installed by the pujaris or priests. Since then, the temple has a flat roof. Probably, 
no other desecrated temple had been the subject of so much repair and 
refurbishment by British rulers. Of supreme importance was the fact of the mandir 
being restituted to Hindu devotees. It was the greatest act of shuddhi or purification 
although performed before Swami Dayanand Saraswati reintroduced Vedic 
procedures. Growse therefore deserves a place in the hall of Hindutva. 

The Gobind Dev temple at Vrindavan, Mathura, is indeed massive; its plinth is 
105 feet by 1 1 7 feet. It is estimated that the original height was about 1 10 feet with- 
out which it would not have been possible to see the mashaal or torch either from 
Agra or from Delhi. The temple was built in 1590 AD by Maharaja Mansingh of 

The Gobind Dev temple is also unique for two other reasons but we shall come 
to these a little later. For the satisfaction of its desecrators, the celia, or the sanctum 
sanctorum, was destroyed. Fortunately, the idol of Sri Krishna or Gobind had been 
removed to Jaipur by the pujaris in anticipation of Aurangzeb's proposed visit in 
1 670 AD; the emperor was already notorious as an iconoclast. The roof of the trun- 


Hindu Masjids 

cated edifice was to be reserved for namaaz. No sooner had the mehrab been con- 
structed, as illustrated in the photograph in History of Indian and Eastern 
Architecture by James Fergusson, 5 Aurangzeb inaugurated it himself by offering 

All except two statuettes were defaced, including the one at the door of what is 
now the temple, after crossing the foyer hall. The destruction was not confined to 
the upper floors. It extended to the hundreds of statuettes that even today adorn the 
temple walls outside as well as inside, the ceilings or doors. The iconoclasts over- 
looked two small statuettes, one of Sri Krishna and the other of Radha, on the out- 
side of the left wall as one faces the temple. 

An American historian of Indian architecture, George Mitchell, 6 has concluded 
that the original sanctum sanctorum was destroyed. In his own words, once thegar- 
bhagriha has been torn down, there was little point in further wreckage... It seems 
to me that only those with some understanding of the ritual significance of the gar- 
bhagriha would have been capable of desecrating a temple in this careful manner. 

Prof. R Nath 7 introduces the subject of the Gobind Dev temple by quoting 
Aurangzeb's decree of April, 1 669. It said, ... eager to establish Islam, (Aurangzeb) 
issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and tem- 
ples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the pub- 
lic practice of the religion of these disbelivers. The great temple of Gobind Dev fell 
a victim to iconoclastic vandalism within a year of the decree. Its inner sanctum 
and its superstructure were almost entirely destroyed. The main hall was also dam- 
aged. Sculpted figures on the dvarasahha were literally defaced. 

The temple has yet another unique feature. According to an article in the Cal- 
cutta Review quoted by Growse: 8 Aurangzeb had often remarked about a very 
bright light shining in the far distant south east horizon and in reply to his enquiries 
regarding it, was told that it was a light burning in a temple of great wealth and 
magnificence at Vrindavan. He accordingly resolved that it should be put out and 
soon after sent some troops to the place who plundered and threw down as much 
of the temple as they could and then erected on the top of the ruins a mosque wall 
where, in order to complete the desecration, the emperor is said to have offered up 
his prayers. 

Incidentally, the canopy standing on four pillars, which must have acted as a 
shed for the burning torch or mashaal, is lying on the ground at the back of the 


Hindu Masjids 

The defaced statues outside the sanctum sanctorum of Gobind Dev 
Photograph: March, 200 1 


Hindu Masjids 

The only two statues of Krishna and Radha which were overlooked by the iconoclasts of 
Gobind Dev temple 

Photograph: March, 2001 

Shuddhi in Stone 

Defaced statuettes inside Gobind Dev temple 
Photograph: March, 2001 


Hindu Mas] ids 

present sanctum sanctorum. It was so fixed, presumably by Growse in the 1870s. 
It has no relevance to the temple's architecture. This reinforces the belief that this 
canopy belonged to the top of the once towering temple. 

While Aurangzeb's ego might have been gratified, the desecration took with it 
what is described by Fergusson as one of the most elegant temples in India, and the 
only one perhaps, from which an European architect might borrow a few hints. 
What did Growse have to say about this? I should myself have thought that solemn 
or imposing was a more appropriate term than elegance for so massive a building 
and that the suggestions that might be derived from its study were many rather than 

A number of motives have been attributed to the invaders who desecrated tem- 
ples, such as looting of treasures, subduing the populace by arousing dread, inform- 
ing the area that a sultan had replaced the raja. There is, however, no other instance 
of a temple being desecrated because it defied the ego of an emperor. 

Henry Hardy Cole 9 has written: I am not sure that the restoration of the upper- 
most parapet is correct and think that it would have been better to leave the super- 
structure, as it appeared when I first saw it, with all the evidence of Aurangzeb 's 
destructive hand. 

3 Incomplete Shuddhi 


Ayodhya is also an example of shuddhi albeit incomplete until a permanent Ram 
Lalla mandir is built. We do not know when we will overcome the controversies 
and when we shall be able to start building the temple. It is a simple issue. Most 
Hindus believe that Sri Ram was born in Ayodhya; it is a matter of faith. Most Mus- 
lims accept that Mir Baqi built the Babri edifice as a tribute to the new conqueror, 
Babar. In 1528 AD, there was hardly any Muslim resident in the city of Sri Ram. 
There were plenty of temples but no mosque. Even today there are not many Mus- 
lims who live in the vicinity, until one gets to Faizabad, several kilometres away. 

For decades the edifice was not used by Muslims. In any case, the Babri masjid 
was one among thousand upon thousand of mosques in India. It had no special sanc- 
tity, whereas for the Hindus the birth place of Sri Ram is of infinite sentimental 
value. The obvious gesture should have been to gracefully hand over the edifice to 
Hindu devotees. But no! Some leaders formed a Babri Masjid Action Committee, 
when no political party had espoused the Hindu cause. In other words, leaders polit- 
icised the issue. Unfortunately, Hindu leadership did not voice home truths. Instead, 
they got bogged down in responding point for point, argument by argument. 

The first home truth was the contrast between what Ayodhya means to the Hindu 
sentiment and how comparatively insignificant it is to Muslims, The second truth 
to pose is: how would Muslims react to a Hindu proposal to build a temple in either 
Mecca or Medina? The third home truth is that the Christians commemorate the 
birth of Lord Jesus at Bethlehem by having erected the Church of Nativity. Muslim 
iconoclasts have left it alone presumbably as a mark of respect for Christian senti- 
ments. Khalifa Hakeem Bi Amr Illah destroyed the church of the Holy Sepulchre 
in Jerusalem during 1009 AD but did not touch the Church of Nativity at Bethle- 


Hindu Masjids 

hem. Surely, the Muslims in the 20th century should be more considerate than the 
khalifa a thousand years ago. But they are not. 

Instead of dealing with petty, perhaps self seeking leaders, Hindu spokesmen 
should have addressed the Muslim masses, frankly and openly. The initiative was 
however allowed to remain with the government of India, rather the prime minister 
who had a vested interest in allowing the controversy to persist between the spokes- 
men and petty leaders, without allowing either side to win. If the petty ones had 
succeeded in preserving the edifice, the political dividend might have eventually 
accrued to the likes of Viswanath Pratap Singh or Mulayam Singh Yadav. At the 
same time, for Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, it was best that the edifice was out 
of the way. A Hindu metaphor says if there is no bamboo, how can there be a flute! 

Hype was therefore allowed to be generated. It became evident to the public that 
the spokesmen were desirous of pulling down the edifice in order to build a new 
temple.The author was in Ayodhya between 10.45 a.m. and 5.45 p.m. on that fate- 
ful day. The whole township around the Babri edifice was choc-a-block with 
around two to three lac people most of whom had come from outside for kar seva. 
The whole day was spent on the terrace of a newish small building at a distance of 
what looked like a furlong from the edifice. Two of the domes were clearly visible, 
the third one was covered by tall trees from where he was located. 

Short speeches, interspersed by the singing of devotional songs, was all that was 
happening until about noon. A microphone was on the terrace and a few persons 
took turns to address the mass of kar sevaks. No doubt the atmosphere was charged 
with expectations, but there was no apparent action. Then the author saw young- 
sters climbing the domes and scratching them. In the course of the next hour, the 
surface of the domes had become the colour of sand; it had been a dirty black ear- 
lier. While the youngsters on top were exhilarated, crowds below uttered cries of 
thrill from time to time. For anyone who had the leisure to think, it was obvious 
that this was hardly the way to demolish the structure. 

Around this time, two photographers ran to the terrace and complained that 
some five of them had been manhandled and the camera of one of them had been 
snatched and smashed. The author concluded that the target was not the photogra- 
phers but the cameras, since the kar sevaks inside the edifice were anxious not to 
be photographed. They were using crowbars to attack the top of the walls on which 
the domes rested. The objective must have been to weaken the base of the domes 
sufficiently for them to collapse. This also the author heard from the photographers 

Shuddhi in Stone 


as the terrace was too far away. Around 2.30 p.m. a dull thud was heard, followed 
by the crowd shouting with delight. This was presumably when the dome col- 
lapsed, but that was not visible from the terrace. 

The chanting of bhajans and the shouting of slogans continued with the help of 
the mike on the terrace which was packed not only with sympathisers but also 
many police officers. There were many policemen in uniform in Ayodhya. They 
however had little to do since the kar sevaks on duty were making sure that there 
was no disorder. In fact, the only incident of manhandling of a person during the 
whole day, was that concerning the photographers. One could now see a stream of 
young kar sevaks bringing away small pieces of debris to take home as souvenirs. 

Then suddenly at 3.40 p.m. one of the two remaining domes collapsed. This time 
there was clapping. The cries of delight could be heard with the mass clapping. The 
scene on the terrace had to be seen to be believed. Jubilation was uncontrolled and 
many tears of joy were shed at Ayodhya. At 4.30 p.m, the third dome fell and for 
a while the birth town of Sri Ram saw a riot of exhilaration. Over the centuries, 
thousands of temples had been desecrated across north India. At last, the Hindus 
present felt that they had got back at least one of them. 

As the sun was receding on the short winter day, it was getting cold and the kar 
sevaks began to melt away from the Ramjanmabhoomi. The author left the terrace 
at 5.30 p.m.and was back in his car before 5.45 p.m. Soon after, he heard on the 
radio that the chief minister had resigned and subsequently his ministry had been 
dismissed and Governor's rule imposed in Uttar Pradesh by the central govern- 

On the way back to Lucknow, many scenes kept coming back to his mind. The 
one scene that kept recurring the most, was that of the huge edifice, tall and with 
thick walls standing without domes. At the little motel in Lucknow, probably at 
9.30 p.m. or 10.00 p.m., he heard Prime Minister Narasimha Rao speaking on TV. 
He condemned the demolition as a dirty and shameful act and promised to rebuild 
the Babri masjid. The author therefore wondered before falling asleep, whether the 
central government would replace the three domes post haste. The whole of his 
next day was spent in driving back to Delhi. 

On the 10th morning, most of the newspapers had a photograph of a small flat 
little temple with a tiny flag flying at its centre. This was the temple built quickly 
by the central government on the site of the demolished edifice for the Ram Lalla 


Hindu Masjids 

idol which, incidentally, the author had the privilege to see on the terrace on the 
afternoon of December sixth. A pujari or priest had brought the black idol to the 
terrace in his anxiety to save it from the crashing domes. 

Seeing the photograph of the new Ram Lalla temple, the author realised that the 
central government had demolished the walls of the edifice. He was thunder struck 
by the hypocrisy of the secular government of India which had promised to rebuild 
the masjid. The government instead had demolished the walls in a matter of 
60 hours between the evening of the 6th and the morning of the 9th when this pho- 
tograph must have been taken. No picture of the edifice sans its domes has been 
seen by anyone the author knows. Evidently, Ayodhya was cordoned off while the 
walls were demolished and the debris removed with extraordinary despatch. 

The author said to himself: even if he could not help a friend to rebuild his bro- 
ken roof, at least, he would not go to his friend's house and demolish the walls. But 
that is what the central government did at Ayodhya in December, 1992. 

4 Spontaneous Shuddhi 

The spontaneous use of the dargah of Sultan 
Ghari where Hindus perform puja side by 
side with Muslims performing ibaadat 

The first example of shuddhi that the author came across was the tomb of Sultan 
Ghari which has an interesting history and a delightful present. If only this example 
of popular spontaneity can be extended to all the temples converted into mosques, 
would there not be Hindu-Muslim friendship? Just go any afternoon and see for 

As Naqvi, 10 an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) wrote in Jan- 
uary 1 947, the tomb is situated in a very remote corner of Delhi; it is situated amidst 
what is now a large residential colony called Vasant Kunj. It is called the tomb of 
Sultan Ghari because it is deep down below the ground level as if in a cave, which 
in Persian means ghari. It is the grave of Prince Nasiruddin Mahmud, heir apparent 
of Sultan Iltutmish, a successor of Qutbuddin Aibak of the Mamluk dynasty. The 
prince had died while he was governor in 1228 AD at Lakhnauti, the modem Dhaka 
in Bangladesh. His father was very much alive then and Sultan of Delhi. 

Islamic technology of construction had not yet been established in India. During 
the early sultanate period, it was not uncommon to convert Hindu stone edifices, 
which were mostly temples, into mosques, mausoleums, mazaars etc. As Naqvi 
has pointed out, the first Muslim architectural style in India had the characteristic 
features of trabeate construction adopted from Hindu traditions to Muslim designs. 
The idea was to build mock arches and domes by means of corbelled horizontal 
courses; the use of column and beam and not the truly rounded arch and dome. 
What else could have been done in the act of conversion, as distinct from the proc- 
ess of original construction,which had to wait until the advent of the Lodhis? 


Hindu Masjids 

Sultan Ghari's is the oldest Muslim tomb known to exist in India as recorded by 
several scholars including Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. 11 It is also an outsanding exam- 
ple of Muslim tolerance. On a March afternoon of 2001, when the author visited 
the tomb along with his colleagues, it was being used for worship by scores of Hin- 
dus as well as a few Muslim families. There were flowers and agarbattis or incense 
sticks galore in the crypt in the underground round chamber where also lies buried 
Prince Nasiruddin. 

Naqvi has taken pains to describe at length the edifice which began as a temple, 
got converted into a tomb and to which was added a masjid with a marble mehrab 
and then a gate with pretty Arabic calligraphy of verses from the Holy Quran. As 
he puts it, the gateway projects I3 J A feet from the enclosure wall and is approached 
and entered by a flight of steps flanked by two square rooms which are roofed with 
stone slabs in the Hindu fashion. The external archway of the gate is formed by 
overlapping courses of marble and around it is the important Arabic inscription in 
Kufic characters. 

He goes on, after crossing the threshold, one stands under the eastern colon- 
naded verandah, the flat roof of which rests on red sandstone pillars. The latter are 
not uniformly carved, indicating that they have been re-used here from an older 
building. Opposite this colonnade and along the whole length of the western wall 
runs another colonnaded verandah with a prayer chamber in the centre erected in 
white marble and covered with a corbelled pyramidal dome. The dome is almost 
certainly re-used and is lavishly carved internally with Hindu motifs, notably bands 
of lozenge or triangular patterns. The marble mehrab is embellished with verses 
from the Quran and a floral design. The floor is paved with marble slabs. The rest 
of the verandah on either side of the prayer chamber comprises red sandstone pil- 
lars and pilasters supporting a flat roof of Hindu design, with a brick work parapet. 

The pillars of the peristyle deserve notice, stresses Naqvi, because he had 
observed the Hindu characteristics of the edifice. Those of the prayer chamber are 
of fluted white marble and have an almost Grecian aspect. Their capitals bear a 
resemblance to that of the Doric order, combined above with Corinthian like 
scrolls. The shafts have sixteen flutes and bases of Hindu character. The remaining 
sandstone pillars are assembled from different pieces, so that in any given example, 
the present combination of base, shaft and capital may not be original. 

He winds up his description with the words: The Hindu elements in the architec- 
ture of the monument are apparent in the dome of the mosque and the partly 

Shuddhi in Stone 


The roof of Sultan Ghari's tomb at Delhi which was once a temple, then a mosque and now 

Photograph: March, 2001 

Entrance to Sultan Ghari 

Photograph: March, 2001 

Shuddhi in Stone 


defaced Hindu motifs on some of the pillar brackets of the western colonnade. The 
presence of a Gauripatta or receptacle of a linga in the pavement of the western 
colonnade is a further significant point. Furthermore, the marble stones in the 
external facade of the mosque are serially numbered, indicating their removal from 

Yet another officer of the ASI, Sharma 12 published his findings in 1964. He had 
the advantage of research already done by Cunningham, as well as Naqvi who has 
been quoted earlier. A particularly refreshing point that Sharma makes is with 
regard to a couple of sculptured lintels and. an upright stone railing that were found 
embedded in the roof of the edifice. The frieze or a band of decoration carved on 
one of the lentils has, what appears to be a bull and a horse facing each other. This 
was further proof of the Hinduness of Sultan Ghari's tomb. 

Sharma went on to add that in the eighth century, or a little earlier, a large tem- 
ple existed at the site of the Sultan Ghari's tomb, 8 km west of the Qutb-Minar. The 
temple was erected probably by some feudatory of the Pratiharas. 

Cunningham's observations made in 1871/72 should be taken even more seri- 
ously because his impartiality would be beyond doubt. There would be no bias as 
between the Hindu and Muslim viewpoints. In the ASI report of those years he has 
written that the tomb of Sultan Ghari, with its domes of overlapping courses, 
appears to be pre-Muhammadan, but when to this feature we add the other Hindu 
features, both of construction and ornamentation, the stones set without cement in 
the walls, the appearance of wear or weathering of the stones, greater even than in 
the Kutb, though similar in material, and the fact that the inner cell was originally 
finished in granite, but afterwards cased with marble, it becomes extremely prob- 
able that this is, like the Kutb, a Hindu building appropriated by the Muhamman- 
dans, and the probability is rendered almost a certainty by the existence of the 
central cell, which is a construction adapted to some Hindu forms of worship, the 
Saivic, but which is an anomaly in Muhammadan architecture. 

We can conclude that Sultan Ghari's is an example of a Hindu temple converted 
into a Muslim tomb in the crypt and a mosque on the roof. Yet the people of the 
area believe that Hindu devotees have been welcome to worship at the edifice for 
as long as can be remembered. There is no record of any dispute over this building. 

5 Waterloo ofAryavarta 

Kannauj was the centre of northern Hindus- 
tan until it was destroyed by Muslim invaders 

It is strange that what a writer on Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and the Dargah 
Sharief at Ajmer has said about the role of Raja Jaichand should have precipitated 
our visit to Kannauj on August 2, 2001 . Equally strange is the fact that our interest 
in this great capital city of ancient Hindustan was first aroused in 1983 by 
Dr N.K. Bezbaruah, the versatile grand old man of Assam. He then told us how 
proud he was to claim direct lineage from one of the chosen Kannauj Brahmins, 
who were invited specially to introduce Hinduism amongst the Ahoms who had 
captured power in Assam and had set up their capital city at Sibsagar in the 13th 
century. Incidentally, the Ahoms belonged to the Shan race whose base was in 
Thailand. The doctor was bemoaning the paradox of his clan being, on the one 
hand, so proud of its Hindu ancestry and, on the other, a few sons of the same proud 
families taking to guns and terrorism, as it were, against the rest of Hindustan. 

At Elphinstone College, Mumbai, during 1955/56, the author had ancient Indian 
history as one of his honours subjects. Although he was an average student, he had 
certainly read enough to be aware of the old glory of Kannauj. If there was anything 
to obliterate one's memory of Kannauj, the infamy of Raja Jaichand certainly 
would not permit it. It is believed that but for the treachery of Jaichand, Prithviraj 
Chauhan would not have lost the second Battle of Tarain. The trend of Indian his- 
tory might have been different. Yet, see how inert we have remained that the author 
should have to wait till he was 64 years old before visiting Kannauj ! 

Only recently he came across a biography of Hazrat Chishti by Maulana Garib 
Nawaz Ajmeri. 13 At some stage, Moinuddin Chishti appealed to Allah for guid- 
ance. The divine answer reportedly came in a vision whose message was that Prith- 


Hindu Masjids 

viraj Chauhan would be captured alive and his kingdom snatched away. The 
biographer then implies that moves were initiated which resulted in Raja Jaichand 
Rathod's withdrawal from the Rajput alliance. The resulting disunity opened an 
opportunity for Sultan Muhammad Ghauri to come back to Hindustan and defeat 

Before we recall the glory of ancient Kannauj, let the author tell you what he and 
his colleagues saw that day. As it were, to portray the historical humiliation of the 
vanquished, the city's main temple is situated in the valley, if not quite a ravine, on 
the outer edges of the Ganga. It is the Gauri Shankar mandir. To visit every Muslim 
edifice of significance, we had to climb to a peak beginning with the dargah of 
Balapir Saheb. We then climbed further to another peak which was called the 
Ahmed Tola on the crest of which stands the Jama or Dina masjid. 

What struck us immediately, was its spick and span whitewash. Evidently, the 
masjid was carved out of a large square pavillion standing on innumerable square 
pillars. Approximately, half the square is still covered with a flat roof standing on 
68 pillars. In the walls, both of the masjid and its compound, are embedded more 
pillars. Those which must have stood in, what is now, the compound are no longer 
there. The ceiling is also flat just as in the Ataladevi masjid in Jaunpur as well as 
the Adhai Din Ka Jhopra in Ajmer. 

The difference here was that at the centre above the mimbar, from where the 
imam reads the khutba on Fridays, is a small shallow dome. Evidently, the roof at 
that spot was cut in a circle to accommodate the dome. This is not merely the 
author's guess; it was confirmed when we visited the Makhdoom Jahaniya dargah 
half an hour later. It is now a tomb cum masjid. There, a similar circle over the mim- 
bar has been cut into the roof but not covered. It is therefore possible for the imam 
to see the sky right above him while he is delivering the khutba. 

To get back to Jama masjid, even the bright young man Qamar Ali, a member 
of the local palika or municipality who was kind enough to show us round, con- 
firmed that he could not talk much about the history of the masjid. Looking at the 
sky, he said it could have been anything. The milkman or rather a small dairy 
owner, Saughat Khan, was surprisingly well informed. But for him, history began 
with the arrival of Muhammad Ghauri and not at the dawn of civilisation. Since he 
was unable to read Persian, he felt he could not tell us enough. He only wished that 
a Chaturvedi Saheb of Hardoi was available. He knew four languages and was 
therefore called Chaturvedi! Nevertheless, Saughat was happy to have brought us 


Hindu Masjids 

to the peak of the city, and give us the benefit of the cool breeze that was blowing 
despite it being noon on a hot day. This, he said, was a great advantage of the mas- 
jid being on a high peak of the city. 

The author's colleagues felt that he was being unduly mild while describing a 
major molestation of Hindu civilisation. They promptly showed the author 
Volume I of Cunningham's 14 report. The author cannot help quoting, however spar- 
ingly, from what the most outstanding archaeologist of India reported: 

The Jama or Dina Masjid ofKanoj is cited by Fergusson (James Fergusson was 
a British architect who surveyed many buildings in north India during the 19th 
century) as a specimen of Hindu cloisters, which has been rearranged to suit the 
purposes of Muhammadan worship; and in this opinion I most fully concur... it 
must originally have been the site of some Hindu building of considerable impor- 
tance. This conclusion is partly confirmed by the traditions of the temple, who, 
however, most absurdly call the place Sita-ka-Rasui, or "Sita 's kitchen "... When I 
first visited Kanoj in January 1838, the arrangement of the pillars was somewhat 
different from what I found in November 1862. The cloisters which originally 
extended all round the square, are now confined to the masjid itself, that is, to the 
west side only. This change is said to have been made by a Muhammadan Tahsildar 
shortly before 1857. The same individual is also accused of having destroyed all 
the remains of figures that had been built into the walls of the Jama and Makhdum 
Jahaniya masjids... Also, the inscription over the doorway is said to have been 
removed at the same time for the purpose of cutting off a Hindu figure on the back 
of it. I recovered this inscription by sending for the present Tahsildar. 

The Gazetteer of Farrukhabad district edited and compiled by E.R. Neave, 15 
ICS, 191 1, is even more forthright. To quote: 

The iconoclastic fury of Mahmud Ghazni swept away all the Hindu religious 
edifices of dates anterior to the tenth century, and later buildings of any size or 
importance are almost exclusively Muhammdan... A luckily preserved copy of the 
much obliterated inscription over the entrance doorway shows that it was by Ibra- 
him Shah of Jaunpur that the building was regenerated in 1406 AD. 

An observation or two about the surviving Makhdum Jahaniya is necessary if an 
archaeological highlight is not to be missed in our report on Kannauj. The mosque- 
cum-tomb is situated on a lofty mound or a peak, in what has come to be known as 
the Sikhana Mahalla. Apart from what has been briefly mentioned earlier, there is 


Hindu Masjids 

little that is noteworthy except what Cunningham reported. When he visited, there 
was inscribed on a panel on the back wall the name of Allah on a tablet suspended 
by a rope. He goes on: The appearance of the tablet and rope is so like that of the 
Hindu bell and chain that one is almost tempted to believe that the Muhammadan 
architect must have simply chiselled away the bolder points of the Hindu ornament 
to suit his own design. Incidentally, he goes on to say that during his 1838 visit: / 
had found a broken figure ofShasti, the goddess of fecundity, and a pedestal with 
a short inscription, dated in Samvat 1193, orA.D. 1136. The people also affirm that 
a large statue formerly stood under a tree close by. All of these are now gone, but 
the fact that two of them were built into the entrance steps is sufficient to show that 
the mound on which the masjid stands must once have been the site of some impor- 
tant Hindu building. 

Moved by the rampant destruction that he saw as well as surmised, towards the 
end of his report on Kannauj, Cunningham says: The probable position of these 
Brahmanical temples was on the high mound ofMakhdum Jahaniya, in the Sikhana 
Mahalla which is about 700 feet to the south of the last mentioned mound in the 
Bhatpuri Mahalla. That this mound was the site of one or more Brahmanical tem- 
ples seems almost certain from my discovery of a figure of Shasti, the goddess of 
fecundity, and of a pedestal bearing the date of Samvat 1193 or AD 1136. 

Kannauj was indeed the capital of Aryavarta or ancient northern India. Its glory 
is best described by several foreigners who visited it, beginning with the Greek, 
Ptolemy around 140 AD, to the Persian Farishta, who left behind his account of 
1016 AD when Mahmud Ghazni invaded Kannauj. All these accounts have been 
succinctly covered by Cunningham in the course of one paragraph which reads as 

In AD 1016, when Mahmud of Ghazni approached Kanoj, the historian relates 
that he there saw a city which raised its head to the skies, and which in strength 
and structure might justly boast to have no equal. Just one century earlier, or in 
AD 915, Kanoj is mentioned by Masudi as the capital of one of the Kings of India, 
and about AD 900 Abu Zaid, on the authority oflbn Wahab, calls Kaduge, a great 
city in the kingdom ofGozar. At a still earlier date in AD 634, we have the account 
of the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thasang, who describes Kanoj as being 20 li, or three 
and a quarter miles, in length, and 4 or 5 li, or three quarter of a mile, in breadth. 
The city was surrounded by strong walls and deep ditches, and was washed by the 
Ganges along its eastern face. The last fact is corroborated by Fa Hian, who states 
that the city touched the River Heng (Ganges) when he visited it in AD 400. Kanoj 

Shuddhi in Stone 


is also mentioned by Ptolemy, about AD 140, as Kanogiza. But the earliest notice 
of the place is undoubtedly the old familiar legend of the Puranas, which refers the 
Sanskrit name of Kanya-Kubja, or the hump-backed maiden to the curse of the sage 
Vayu on the hundred daughters of Kusanabha. 

Having read what was said by Cunningham as well as Neave, it would be useful 
to also see what Stanley Lane-Poole, wrote: Sultan Mahmud Ghazni fought his 
greatest campaign in 1018, and pushed further east than ever before. He marched 
upon Kanauj, the capital of the Tomara rajas and then reputed the chief city of Hin- 
dustan. The march was an orgy and an ovation,,. Kanauj was reached before 
Christmas. The raja had already fled at the mere bruit of the sultan 's coming, and 
the seven forts of the great city on the Ganges fell in one day. Of all its gorgeous 
shrines not a temple was spared. Nor were the neighbouring princes more fortu- 
nate. 1 74 years later came another cataclysm this time perpetrated by Muhammad 
Ghauri in 1192. The Rathors fled south to found a new principality at Marwar, and 
Kanauj and Benares became part of the empire ofGhor. 

Lane Poole's thesis iterates that in most cases, the destruction perpetrated by the 
invaders on the Hindu capital cities was conclusive enough to see their permanent 
end. Kannauj is an outstanding example. So was Ujjain, Gaur, the ancient capital 
of Bengal, and Ajmer. The ruling elites, Rajputs or others, evidently saw no future 
in a revival and migrated to other areas. Rajputana offered an useful sanctuary 
because of the Aravalli hills as well as stretches of desert which made defence 
against Islamic aggression possible. The arrival of Raja Jaichand's grandson in 
Marwar is an example. 

The author prefers to quote either British authorities or Muslim chroniclers so 
that neither authenticity nor objectivity is questioned. However, before moving on 
to the next monument, he wishes to iterate that additions and alterations of such his- 
toric edifices are still taking place. He was quite put off by the white-washing, how- 
ever fresh or glistening, that had been done on the granite pillars and ceiling of the 
Jama masjid. The Makhdum Jahaniya fortunately has not suffered this ugly trans- 
formation. On the other hand, the Jami masjid at Etawah, only about a hundred kil- 
ometres away, which we visited the previous day, was also a casualty of white- 
washing. What should be the role of the Archaeological Survey is best answered 
by its directors and, perhaps, the Ministry of Culture. 

The Jami masjid at Etawah is an even more interesting example of sweep under 
the carpet and conceal. In fact, it is more illustrative. Not only is the masjid 

Photograph: August, 2001 

Shuddhi in Stone 

Inside Jami Masjid at Etawah with a carved temple pillar recently coated with aluminium 
paint in an attempt to conceal the carvings 

Photograph; August, 2001 


Hindu Masjids 

white-washed, a number of pillars have been subjected to several coats of alumin- 
ium paint. This was applied to a surface made smooth perhaps by the use of plaster. 
The pillars that had white lime on them, were plain granite. 

On balance, perhaps Etawah was not very different from what we saw the fol- 
lowing day at Kannauj. It was basically a pavillion with a flat roof standing on pil- 
lars. Only a small dome had been constructed over the mimbar. The architectural 
adviser of the invaders was evidently the same individual. The antecedents of the 
edifice are best described in the words of C. Home, 16 Judge of Mainpuri district: 

The Jama masjid is the principal place of Muhamdan worship in the city. It is 
situated on some high ground to the right of the Gwalior Road proceeding towards 
the Jamuna and is curious as having been originally an old Hindu structure. He 
goes on: It would appear to have originally formed part of a cloister and that there 
were four round chapels each with sixteen pillars and a large chapel in the middle, 
intended for the idol. The courtyard is enclosed by a mean brick wall and now con- 
tains a small Chaitya, about nine feet square covering a Musalman tomb, where 
four pillars support a flat roof with eavestones of red sandstone projecting some 
two feet out on each side. 

6 Reclaimed Temple at Mahaban 

Temple of Rohini, desecrated by. Mahmud 
Ghazni, Alauddin and Aurangzeb, again a 

Gokul is well known as the place to which newly bom Krishna was taken from 
Mathura, by his father Vasudev, to save his baby son from being killed by his 
brother-in-law Kansa. There, at the home of Nand and Yashoda, Krishna spent his 
childhood. Mahaban however is less known although it is the twin township of 
Gokul and only about two kilometres away. The word means a big forest which it 
must have also been in those early times. Mahaban was the place where Krishna, 
his step-brother and their cowherd friends played as children. Nand, their foster fa- 
ther had his second house at Mahaban, where Balaram and his mother Rohini 
stayed during those turbulent years. 

Believed to be an expansion of this same house of Nand are the 80 pillars or in 
Hindi the Assi-khamba bhavan on the Chhattipalna of the Mathuranath complex. 
When the author and his colleagues visited it on July 14, 2001, it was a temple ded- 
icated to Nand, Rohini, Balaram and Krishna. When however Cunningham, 17 went 
there during 1882-83, he found a masjid established in the time of Aurangzeb. He 
had known of its existence by reading its history by Growse, although he himself 
discovered an inscription on stone of 29 lines by Raja Ajaya Pala Deva dated 

Cunningham called it a masjid which was made up of Hindu materials. It is dif- 
ficult to agree with Cunningham. The author feels that a Hindu building was con- 
verted into a masjid and not made up or rebuilt with Hindu materials. If it had been 
rebuilt, its Muslim builder would have excluded the inscription of Raja Ajaya as 
well as all the statuettes on the pillars and walls. The fact that they have been muti- 


Hindu Masjids 

lated is a clear indication that the then existing Hindu edifice was quickly converted 
into a masjid. Apart from the factor of quickness, there must have been the lack of 
readily available architects and artisans familiar with Islamic architecture. Hence, 
a great deal of the early Muslim buildings in Hindustan were conversions of Hindu 
temples. A distinctly Islamic style did not emerge until about the advent of the 
Lodis in the course of the 15th century. 

On the day of our visit, we saw two tombs immediately outside the 80 pillared 
edifice. The priest told us that they were of Rus Khan and his brother. He however 
did not sound confident and added that his seniors had told him so. On the other 
hand, Cunningham has mentioned in his report that: at the north end of the 
Assi-khamba Masjid, there is a small tomb ofSayid Yahia ofMashad, under a nim 
tree. As he is the reputed recoverer of the fort of Mahaban from the Hindus, I pre- 
sume that he must have destroyed the temple and built a mosque in its place. 
Mr. Growse places this event in the reign of Ala-ud-din, or A.H. 695 to 715. It 
would be worthwhile to trust the information of the head of the ASI and discount 
what the young priest said. It is possible that the first desecration of the temple took 
place during the raid by Mahmud Ghazni when in 1017 AD he also vandalised 
Mathura. The next destruction took place during the reign of Khilji. Aurangzeb's 
crime was a subsequent one. This version also fits into the theory of direct quick 
conversions of temples into mosques belonging to the pre-Lodi centuries. 

Due to the series of catastrophes, Mahaban was not able to recover. In 1884, 
according to the gazetteer of the North Western Provinces, Volume VIII, 18 it was 
the headquarters of a large tehsil. Although it could scarcely be called more than a 
largish village. In its heyday, Mahaban was an important satellite township of the 
fabulous Mathura. Although it shrank in importance, its history was colourful. It 
was a gathering place for the imperial army sent by Iltutmish against Kabinagar in 
1234 AD. In 1634, Shahjahan hunted in its vicinity. During 1757, Ahmed Shah 
Abdali happened to camp at Mahaban. In 1804, Yashwant Rao Holkar crossed the 
Yamuna at Mahaban while fighting against the British. The old fort surrounding 
quite a large area around Mahaban was, incidentally, built much earlier by Rana 
Katira of Mewar. 

From our point of view, the crucial question is: when and how did this temple 
turned mosque again become a temple? The young priests present during our visit 
were not clear. Nor was an old gentleman who was a trustee of the temple and hap- 
pened to be available on the spot. On the apron of the entrance to the temple as well 
as in the courtyard beyond and below the two Muslim tombs, there are innumerable 

Shuddhi in Stone 


- — 




Hindu Masjids 

square marble tiles, say 20 cm x 20 cm. On each is engraved in lead the name and 
address of its donor. Remarkably, all the tiles are dated 1948 or after. On none 
could we spot an earlier date. Nor did any of them look very old or worn. This indi- 
cates that the worship of the Krishna family at the temple must have resumed after 
independence. The priest at the mandir, which commemorates the memory of 
newly bom Krishna at Gokul, told us that Hindu worship was resumed at Mahaban 
after the Muslim officials ran away due to communal tensions that followed parti- 
tion. Until then, according to the priest, the 80 pillars edifice was used as a kutch- 
erry or office of some Islamic organisation. Our young guide had said earlier that 
while Gokul was almost exclusively a Brahmin township, Mahaban had a mixed 

Enough of legends and impressions. Let us quote what Cunningham had written 
during 1882-83: the long building known as Assi-khamba or the eighty pillars 
which has been appropriated by the Hindus as the scene of Krishna 's infancy 
under the name of Chhatti-palna or the sixth day cradle, a purification ceremony 
performed on the sixth day after child birth. This statement implies that the 
Mahaban edifice had been returned to the Hindus by 1882 although Cunningham 
himself calls it a masjid in the same report. Be that as it may be, to us, Mahaban is 
an example of shuddhi in stone, the return of a mandir to whom it belonged. 

According to Growse, Father Tieffenthaller, a Christian missionary, visited 
Mahaban during the middle of the 18th century. From what he wrote, it seems that 
both Hindus and Muslims were in joint possession of the eighty pillar edifice. One 
part was a mosque, while the other was a temple, although the Frenchman used the 
word pagode or pagoda. Keeping in view what we saw on our visit and what we 
have read since, it appears that the entire northern portion of the eighty pillar build- 
ing was used by Muslims as a mosque, with the grave of Sayid Yahia on the apron. 
The compound gate was also on the northern side. The back or the southern side, 
was used as a mandir. 

Subsequently, the Hindus must have withdrawn. This belief is based on the fact 
that all the marble tablets belong to the post-Independence period. This indicates 
disuse of the temple for a long time. Evidently, when Cunningham visited 
Mahaban, there must have been a semblance of Hindu possession although sub- 
stantively it was a masjid. Which is what the ASI chief has called it. It is also pos- 
sible that in course of time, the building ceased to be used as a mosque and used 
more as a kutcherry or office of either a waqf or a government agency. All in all, 
the mandir' s final shuddhi does not appear to have taken place until Independence. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


7 Qutbuddin and 27 Mandirs 

Desecration near Qutb Minar 

Reporting on the monuments of Delhi in 1 871 AD, J.D. Beglar 19 of the Archeolog- 
ical Survey of India, had an interesting theory after he explored the Quwwatul 
Islam mosque which is situated next to the Qutb Minar, ASI Report 1871/72. In his 
own words: it remains only to add a suggestion that the unsightly layer of irregular 
stones that cover up the courtyard be removed; it will then be possible to state def- 
initely whether or not a central grand temple existed. From examples elsewhere, I 
am sanguine that traces of a central shrine will be found on careful examination. 

The legendary world traveller Ibn Batuta 20 was categorical about the mosque 
being a conversion from a cluster of temples. On the site of the mosque, he wrote, 
there was a butkhana or a house of idols. After the conquest of Delhi, it was turned 
into a mosque. Even today one cannot fail to notice the image of Ganesh on the rear 
plinth of the mosque. 

Proximity induces apathy rather like familiarity breeding contempt! Countless 
people visit Qutb Minar each year. But how many of them remember having seen 
the mosque next door, Quwwatul Islam? The story of this mosque is told on the tab- 
let displayed on the spot by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is a story of how 
27 temples were desecrated and how their rubble was used to build a mosque in 
their place. It was to announce to the regional populace that the Raja was gone and 
the Sultan had taken over. 

In those days, there were no means of communication other than the beating of 
drums which could not reach very far beyond a village. On the other hand, a pop- 
ular temple was a place of pilgrimage, several times a year. The devotees would 


Hindu Masjids 

Pillar with defaced statuettes at Quwwatul Islam mosque 
Photograph: June, 2000 

Shuddhi in Stone 


suddenly discover that the sanctum of their beloved avataar had been broken into 
pieces and rebuilt with something that, in their eyes, was devastatingly offensive. 
Most often the old stones and statues that earlier adorned the temple walls could be 
recognised. For, they had been used in building the mosque. This viewpoint has 
limited validity. 

The desecration had its vicarious side. For, there is no record or mention any- 
where that the idol of the presiding deity of the mandir was removed and handed 
over to the priest for taking away to another temple. In fact, in many cases, there 
were gleeful references to how the idol was destroyed and its broken pieces were 
buried under the entrance of the mosque. So that they would be routinely stepped 
on by those who came visiting for their ibadat. 

The desecration at Mehrauli was probably the first perpetrated by Muhammad 
Ghauri. It is situated next to the famous Qutb Minar. The masjid was named after 
its builder, Qutbuddin Aibak, as Quwwatul Islam, which, translated into English, 
means the Might of Islam. The name itself is arrogant; for a place of worship it is 
even more so. 

The mosque was located at the citadel which came to be known as Qila Rai 
Pithora. The conversion began soon after the second Battle of Tarain, in 1 192 AD, 
wherein Muhammad Ghauri defeated and killed Prithviraj Chauhan. It might be 
recalled that in the first battle of Tarain, it was Prithviraj who had defeated Ghauri 
and did not kill him, but let him go. Kshama veerasya bhushanam or forgiveness 
beholds a hero is what the then ruler of Delhi must have had in mind. 

Let us quote the version given in the Oxford History ofIslam? ] The immense 
congregational mosque in Delhi known as Quwwat al-Islam (Might of Islam) was 
one of the first built in India. Begun in 1191, the mosque stands on the site of a 
pre-Islamic temple whose ruins were incorporated in the structure. The tall iron 
pillar in the courtyard, originally dedicated to the Indian god Vishnu around 400, 
was re-erected as a trophy to symbolize Islam 's triumph over Hinduism. 

Many centuries earlier, Alexander of Macedon had defeated King Porus in 
326 BC on the banks of the Jhelum and promptly made him his ally. Ghauri, evi- 
dently, had a killer instinct, so lauded in the West, as necessary for victory. Any- 
way, to kill or not to kill is the privilege of the victor. But monumental humiliation 
cannot be the doing of any one except a coward. 


Hindu Masjids 

The defaced statuettes on the pillars of Quwwatul Islam mosque, Delhi 
Photograph: June, 2000 


Hindu Masjids 

The Quwwatul mosque was converted from 27 Hindu and Jain temples that were 
destroyed. It is a monument to a people's humiliation. If it were not so, all the stat- 
uettes that still adorn the pillars in the mosque need not have been so blatantly dis- 
played. Even after 800 years, they are, as it were, alive for the conquered to see. 
And not only for the conquered but for all their successors who would ever visit 
this mosque. Surely, it is un-Islamic to have anything to do with images. Portraits 
and statues are haraam and yet Quwwatul Islam has displayed them. If Aibak had 
been even slightly considerate, not just towards the conquered, but even towards 
his own religion, he would have covered the figurines with lime and sand. 

However, when one reads what Sir Syed Ahmed Khan 22 of Aligarh fame 
proudly wrote about the destruction of 27 temples, one's impression of Islam gets 
shaken. What he wrote is best read in his original words, (from his Urdu book, 
Asar-us-Sanadid, translated by Prof. Khaleeq Anjum, Delhi in 1990, Volume I): 

Quwwatal-Islam Masjid'd Din Sam alias Shihabu'd-Din Ghauri, conquered 
Delhi in AH 587 corresponding to AD 1191 corresponding to 1248 Bikarmi, this 
idol-house (of Rai Pithora) was converted into a mosque. The idol was taken out 
of the temple. Some of the images sculptured on walls or doors or pillars were 
effaced completely, some were defaced. But the structure of the idol-house kept 
standing as before. 

Material from twenty-seven temples, which were worth five crore and forty lakh 
ofDilwals, were used in the mosque, and an inscription giving the date of conquest 
and his own name was installed on the eastern gate. 

When Malwah and Ujjain were conquered by Sultan Shamsu 'd-Din in AH 631 
corresponding to AD 1233, then the idol-house ofMahakal was demolished and its 
idols as well as the statues of Raja Bikramajit were brought to Delhi, they were 
strewn in front of the door of the mosque. 

The relish with which the founder of Aligarh Muslim University appears to have 
written this, is indeed surprising. At that time, the capital of India was still in Cal- 
cutta. Had it been transferred to Delhi, his pleasure might perhaps have been 
greater. For, the Raisina Hill from where India is governed, is only a few miles 
from Mehrauli where this monument to Hindu humiliation still stands. 

Shuddhi in Stone 

Photograph: June, 2000 

8 Instant Vandalism 

In 60 hours a set of splendid temples at Ajmer 
were converted into a masjid 

A furlong beyond the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is the triple temple com- 
plex built by an ancestor of Prithviraj Chauhan. The complex also contained the 
Sanskrit pathshala or school founded by the same Chauhan Vigraharaja III around 
1 158 AD. He was an avid litterateur who wrote plays. One of these called Harakeli 
Natak was carved on plates of black stones which are even today displayed in the 
Rajputana Museum in the Akbar Fort in Ajmer. Also, on exhibition are rows of 
pretty carvings numbering about a hundred, brought from the complex. Another 
drama written by a court poet Somadev was similarly found. The sand stone statu- 
ettes have survived nearly 900 years except that the faces of all the figures were 
hacked out systematically. The temple complex also has a long store room which 
houses more of the many pretty relics. The lesser relics litter the compound as if 
they are there for anyone to take away. 

This mosque, called Adhai Din Ka Jhopra, is a ready object of shuddhi or puri- 
fication to again becoming a temple. Certainly that is what Cunninghum 23 implied. 
In the ASI report written by him in 1864-65, he found it difficult to follow some 
parts of the plan of the Quwwatul Islam mosque at Delhi, but nearly every part of 
the plan of the Ajmer mosque is still traceable, so that the original design of the 
architect can be restored without much difficulty. Externally it is a square of 259 
feet each side, with four peculiar star-shaped towers at the comers. There are only 
two entrances, one to the east and the other to the south, — the north side being built 
against the scarped rock of the hill The interior consists of a quadrangle 200 feet 
by 1 75 feet, surrounded on all four sides by cloisters of Hindu pillars. The mosque 
itself, which forms the western side of the quadrangle, is 259 feet long by 5 7 'A feet 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Hindu Masjids 

Tall temple pillars at Adhai Din Ka Jhopra, Ajmer 
Photograph: October, 2000 


Hindu Masjids 

broad, including the great screen wall, which is no less than 1 1 'A feet thick and 
56 feet high. 

The complex is, for the last 800 years, popularly known as "Adhai Din Ka Jho- 
pra" (the shed of two and a half days). So called, because the triple or three temples 
were converted into a masjid over only two and a half days. After the second battle 
of Tarain in 1192 AD, in which Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghauri defeated and 
killed Prithviraj Chauhan, the victor passed through Ajmer. He was so awed by the 
temples that he wanted them destroyed and replaced instantly. He asked Qutbuddin 
Aibak, his slave general, to have the needful done in 60 hours' time so that he could 
offer prayers in the new masjid on his way back. 

The Jhopra is among the first in a series of temple desecrations perpetrated by 
foreign rulers of India. The earlier atrocities were by Mahmud Ghazni, who raided 
but did not stay back to rule. The triple temples were so attractive that the desecra- 
tor chose to retain all, or most of the pillars. There are 70 of them under three roofs, 
which meet and appear to be one integrated whole. And there are other pillars 
beyond the covered edifice, which looks like a pavilion in splendid stone. 

The pillars are some 30 feet high gorgeously carved either with exquisite 
designs up to a height of about 26 feet, thereafter adorned with delicate figurines. 
Uncannily, there is not a single figure whose face has not been cut off. Nowhere in 
Europe does one see such acts of vandalism, except what the original barbarian 
vandals themselves perpetrated under their king Gaiseric, in the wake of the con- 
quest of Rome in 455 AD. Hereafter, the word vandal became synonym with wilful 
desecration and destruction. The figurines on all the relics on display at the Rajpu- 
tana Museum as well as those salvaged by the Archaeological Survey of India 
(ASI) duly locked in the compound of the Jhopra have been systematically 
defaced. Amongst the thousands of stone heads, not a single nose or an eye 
is visible. 

Mind you, the ASI has done nothing to excavate or salvage anything in the com- 
plex since independence. With the passing of the Protection of National Monu- 
ments Act, 1951 (see Annexure II), all archaeological activities have been frozen. 
The credit for the excavations goes to Cunningham and Dr. D R Bhandarkar; dur- 
ing the first half of the 20th century by the latter. Details are available in the Rajas- 
than District Gazetteer, 24 Ajmer, 1966. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Carved figurines near entrance to the Jhopra 

Photograph: October, 2000 

Shuddhi in Stone 




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Hindu Masjids 

Muhammad Ghauri presumably offered prayers within the stipulated two and a 
half days. Subsequently in about 1200 AD the Adhai Din Ka Jhopra was completed 
with a well-carved facade which is best described in the words of the ASI Report 25 
for 1 893: The whole of the exterior is covered up with a network of tracery so finely 
and delicately wrought that it can only be compared to a fine lace. Cunningham 
described the exterior of the Jhopra even more eloquently: For gorgeous prodigal- 
ity of ornament, beautiful richness of tracery, delicate sharpness of finish, labori- 
ous accuracy of workmanship, endless variety of detail, all of which are due to the 
Hindu masons, this building may justly vie with the noblest buildings which the 
world has yet produced. 

To come back to Hindu sculpture, Mulkraj Anand has said: This relief in Ajmer 
Museum is carved of intricately related figures, obviously intended for decorative 
effect. It rises above mere adornment by the delicate application of the chisel to 
achieve a composition which is compact and balanced. But there was no mention 
of the pathos of defacement and desecration. In fact, there is nothing either compact 
or balanced about the edifice. The exterior added by Aibak and his successors com- 
prises carvings of the verses from the Holy Quran on a yellow and distinctly softer 
stone compared to the Hindu edifice behind it. This crudity of effort is overlooked 
by Mulkraj Anand, presumbaly as a tribute to his idea of secularism. 

Such then was the vandalism with which the sultanate in Delhi began. As with 
the Quwwatul Islam masjid next to the Qutb Minar, which was also built by Sultan 
Aibak, so with Adhai Din Ka Jhopra at Ajmer. Both are indelible specimens of 
humiliation perpetrated by the victor upon the vanquished. 

9 Ghazni to Alamgir 

Repeated destruction at Mathura 

The richly jewelled idols taken from the pagan temples were transferred to Agra 
and there placed beneath the steps leading to the Nawab Begum Sahib 's mosque, 
in order that they might ever be pressed under foot by the true believers. The city 's 
name was changed to Islamabad. Can you guess the name of this unfortunate 
place? We can tell you who published those words. He was Vincent A. Smith 
ICE, 26 CIE, the famous historian. 

If you cannot guess, it was Mathura, the birth place of Sri Krishna. Most of the 
idols were from the just destroyed Kesava Deva mandir, built at the spot where the 
popular avtaar was believed to have been bom some 3,400 years ago. If Mahmud 
Ghazni was a jaahil or a barbarian, one might have been inclined to overlook his 
outrage and excuse him. But both Al-Beruni and Utbi, who were chroniclers and 
lived in Ghazni's times, certified that Mahmud was devout and built beautiful 
mosques in his Ghazna. For the author it is difficult to do unto others what he would 
dislike others doing unto him. It is not easy for a conscience to live with double 
standards. The author is not a regular worshipper and yet he can appreciate what 
puja, prayer or ibadat means to others. He would hate to distrub them. So much for 
sentiment. Beyond that of course is the Hindu in him which tells him that every 
karma leads to bhagya, every deed goes to shape destiny. Every action has a reac- 
tion, equal and opposite. 

This reasoning must have been alien to Mahmud Ghazni in 101 7 AD, although 
his forefathers must have been Hindu or Buddhist, or possibly, pagan (there was 
no Islam until the seventh century). Do you think that the misfortunes of the 
Afghan people, especially since the Soviet invasion in April 1978 are the bhagya 


Hindu Masjids 

resulting from the karmas of iconoclasts like Mahmud? He was not the only blood- 
thirsty invader. There were a series of them from Afghanistan. The last big vandal 
was Ahmed Shah Abdali of the 18th century. What was perpetrated at Mathura, is 
unthinkable in any context of civilisation. 

You will experience it better when you read what a British Christian had to say. 
As a Hindu, all that the author will say is that no one is more widely adored 
amongst us than Sri Krishna. From Jammu in the north to Kanyakumari in the 
south, from Dwarka in the west to Imphal in the east, there are any number of 
Krishna worshippers. Moreover, there is no Hindu who would not be an adorer of 
this son of Mathura. He gave the Bhagawat Gita to us. Even today, every Hindu 
swears by it before answering in any court, just as Christians and Muslims swear 
by the Bible and the Quran respectively. If there be any one book from which a 
Hindu wishes to understand his faith, it is the Gita. In fact, everyone, at least in 
India, understands what Sri Krishna means to the Hindu psyche. Just as Sri Ram 
exemplifies the uncompromising idealist, Krishna personifies the comprehensive 
realist. When a Hindu has a problem, he wonders what Kesava would have done to 
solve it with his genius for tactics and strategy. If he wishes to celebrate a festival, 
he thinks of Giridhar Gopal. If he dreams of frolic, he sees Gopinath. If he looks 
for love, he cannot but help dream of Radheshyam. 

In his Mathura: A District Memoir, Growse 27 has recorded his exhaustive sur- 
vey and research about Brajbhoomi. He was so overhelmed by the vandalism that 
visited the area repeatedly, that he wrote feelingly, although his home was in far 
away England. To quote: thanks to Muhammadan intolerance, there is not a single 
building of any antiquity either in the city itself or its environs. Its most famous tem- 
ple - that dedicated to Kesava Deva (Krishna) - was destroyed in 1 669, the elev- 
enth year of the reign of the iconoclast Aurangzeb (Alamgir was also his name). 
The mosque (idgah) erected on its ruins is a building of little architectural value. 

Mahmud Ghazni was however the first iconoclast to vandalise Mathura. That 
was in 1 017 AD about which Growse wrote: If any one wished to construct a build- 
ing equal to it, he would not be able to do so without expending a hundred million 
dinars, and the work would occupy two hundred years, even though the most able 
and experienced workmen were employed. Orders were given that all the temples 
should be burnt with naphtha and fire and levelled with the ground. The city was 
given up to plunder for twenty days. Among the spoils are said to have been five 
great idols of pure gold with eyes of rubies and adornments of other precious 
stones, together with a vast number of smaller silver images, which, when broken 


Hindu Masjids 

up, formed a load for more than a hundred camels. The total value of the spoils has 
been estimated at three millions of rupees; while the number of Hindus carried 
away into captivity exceeded 5,000. 

Today Balkrishna is worshipped in a little room which appears like a servant 
quarter attached to the back of the idgah. Pathos can be experienced by any visitor, 
whether a devotee or otherwise. 

To go back to Aurangzeb, over two centuries after the desecration, Growse felt 
that: of all the sacred places in India, none enjoys a greater popularity than the 
capital ofBraj, the holy city of Mathura. For nine months in the year, festival fol- 
lows upon festival in rapid succession and the ghats and temples are daily 
thronged with new troops of way-worn pilgrims. So great is the sanctity of the spot 
that its panegyrists do not hesitate to declare that a single day spent at Mathura is 
more meritorious than a lifetime passed at Benares. All this celebrity is due to the 
fact of it being the birthplace of the demi-god Krishna. 

In his chapter entitled The Braj Mandal, the Ban Yatra and the Holi as Growse 28 
puts it: Not only the city of Mathura, but with it, the whole of the western half of the 
district has a special interest of its own as the birthplace and abiding home of 
Vaishnava Hinduism. It is about 42 miles in length with an average breadth of 30 
miles and is intersected throughout by the river Jamuna. In the neighbourhood is 
Gokul and Brindaban, where the divine brothers Krishna and Balaram grazed 
their herds. He continues: Almost every spot is traditionally connected with some 
event in the life of Krishna or of his mythical mistress Radha. 

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, not all the scents of Arabia would suffice 
to wash away the sins of Ghazni and Alamgir at Mathura. And since it is not pos- 
sible to claim back what was destroyed long ago, the return of the Idgaah and the 
shuddhi of Krishna janmabhoomi or the birth place of Krishna, is the only alterna- 

Shuddhi in Stone 


10 Christian Tears 

An evangelist's heart went out to Benares 

The Europeans should clearly understand that this spirit of Mohammedanism is 
unchangeable, and that, if by any mischance, India should again come into the pos- 
session of men of this creed, all the churches and colleges and all the Mission in- 
stitutions, would not be worth a week's purchase. So wrote Reverend Mathew 
Atmore Sherring. 29 The Muslims had done no harm to the Christians of British In- 
dia. But he was so upset at the vandalism he saw in Benares that he could not help 
speaking out. 

Reverend Sherring was a devout, and maybe a slightly bigoted evangelist mem- 
ber of the London Missionary Society. He was dead against idol worship. As he has 
written idolatry is a word denoting all that is wicked in imagination and impure in 
practice. Idolatry is a demon - an incarnation of all evil. And yet he said it would 
not be difficult, I believe, to find twenty temples in all Benares of the age of 
Aurangzeb, or from 1658 to 1 707. The same unequal proportion of old temples, as 
compared with new, is visible throughout the whole of northern India. His descrip- 
tion of the desecration of temples by the thousand, and their blatant conversion into 
either mosques, mausoleums, dargahs, palaces or pleasure houses has to be seen to 
be believed. 

In his view, if there is one circumstance respecting the Mohammedan period 
which Hindus remember better than another, it is the insulting pride of the Musul- 
mans (sic), the outrages which they perpetrated upon their religious convictions, 
and the extensive spoliation of their temples and shrines. When we endeavour to 
ascertain what the Mohammedans have left to the Hindus of their ancient buildings 
in Benares, we are startled at the result of our investigations. Although the city is 
bestrewn with temples, it is unlikely that there are many which are old. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Reverend Sherring continued, the diminutive size of nearly all the temples in 
India except for the south that exist is another powerful testimony to the stringency 
of the Mohammedan rule. It seems clear, that, for the most part, the emperors for- 
bade the Hindus to build spacious temples, and suffered them to erect only small 
structures, of the size of cages, for their idols, and these of no pretensions to beauty. 
The consequence is, that the Hindus of the present day, blindly following the exam- 
ple of their predecessors of two centuries ago, commonly build their religious edi- 
fices of the same dwarfish size as formerly. These observations speak volumes for 
the trauma that the Hindu psyche has suffered as a result of the impact of Islam. 

Sherring appreciates that Muslims yearn to visit Mecca and the Christians desire 
to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem but the Hindu heart goes out to Benares. If the 
Hindus refer to any one city as their holiest, it is Benares. Yet, Aurangzeb thought 
it fit to change its name to Muhammadabad. The temple of Bisheswar, who was 
regarded as king of all the Hindu gods, was systematically demolished by 
Aurangzeb during the 17th century. The large collection of deities stored on a plat- 
form called the court of Mahadev on the northern side of the temple, were found 
from the debris. As recorded by Sherring, extensive remains of this ancient temple 
are still visible and they form a large portion of the western wall of the mosque 
which was built upon its site by the bigoted oppressor. Evidently, the former tem- 
ple was much larger than the present one, which is really small for so important a 
shrine. But there was a reason for it. 

The new temple was built at the behest of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar long after 
Aurangzeb's desecration. As already explained by Sherring, all the temples built 
during the Mohammaden rule in Benares had to be diminutive in size. It transpires 
that the demolition of temples was not inspired merely by a hatred for idolatory or 
by greed for loot. It was also driven by a desire to humiliate the Hindus. Or, else, 
how does one explain that the masjid built by Aurangzeb had to be bang next to the 
Gyan Vapi or the well of knowledge. 

Incidentally, Sherring has also referred to Al-Beruni who is one of the important 
sources of Indian history: He came to India with Mahmud Ghazni. Although the 
Reverend doubts Al-Beruni' s contention, nevertheless, he mentions that Ghazni 
reached as far as Benares during his ninth incursion into India. In 1 194 AD, Sha- 
habuddin, better known as Muhammad Ghauri, after defeating the Kannaujian 
monarch, Jaichand, marched to Benares where he is reported to have destroyed a 
thousand Hindu temples. 


Hindu Masjids 

The author came across this interesting book on Benares by an extraordinary cir- 
cumstance. The last time he went to the holy city, he happened to be accompanied 
by a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist, Sudhansu Chaki, who was at the Presidency Col- 
lege, Kolkata, with him during 1956. Over the years, he had told the author that he 
was an atheist. If he had a God, it was Karl Marx. No one else. About half an hour 
after both of us had reached the Kashi Vishwanath temple, the author found his 
friend's eyes full of tears. When the author asked him why, he said he had not 
imagined the extent to which the land of his forefathers had been vandalised. He 
was referring to the Gyan Vapi masjid. Some months after he returned to Kolkata 
he sent the author the volume! 

11 Ataladevi Masjid 

In 1403 AD Ibrahim Naib Barbak ordered all 
Hindus to quit the city so that only Muslims 
could live there 

During the period of Government of Sultan Ibrahim, the Hindus were prohibited 
from openly worshipping idols, sounding nakus, and leaving their houses in the 
rainy season for the purpose of burning their dead on the banks of the river near 
the city. He also levied a tax on them, and at length, in the year of the Hijri 806 or 
AD 1403-04 ordered them to leave Jaunpur, and to take up their residence in its 
vicinity. Their houses were given to the professors of the faith, and the Hindus, 
being without friend or assistant, were obliged to abandon their homes and to 
reside in the circumjacent villages. This is quoted from Khair-ud-din's History of 
Jaunpur translated by Pogson and reported by Cunningham. 30 

The reason for Cunningham's referring to the holy city of Mecca was to stress 
his conviction that the Muhammadans did their work of destruction with unusual 
completeness. Now, there is no trace whatsoever of any old Hindu temple standing. 
As is well known, the holy city has no place of worship other than mosques. Nor 
are any non-Muslims allowed to enter Mecca. 

Khair-ud-din, in his History of Jaunpur, observed that the Sultan then gave an 
order for the destruction of the Dewal (temple) Atala, the Dewal ofBijay Mandal 
and the Dewal of Chachakpur... He also commended mosques should be built on 
their foundations. He continued that Bijay Mandal be converted into Kha- 
lis-Mukhlis and Chachakpur into Jhanjhari (chain like) masjid. 

The Gazetteer of Jaunpur district dated 1908, written by H.R. Nevill, 31 the dis- 
trict collector of Jaunpur, confirms that the temple was demolished by Ibrahim 
Naib Barbak, the brother of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq who erected the Jhanjhari 
masjid in honour of a saint called Hazrat Ajmali. Not far from Jhanjhari is what is 


Hindu Masjids 


Hindu Masjids 

Inside Ataladevi masjid, a pillar with stone brackets between which there was a statue, since 

Photograph: November, 2000 


Hindu Masjids 

Jhanjri masjid, Jaunpur, originally Chachakpur temple 
Photograph: November, 2000 

Shuddhi in Stone 


popularly known as the Atala Devi masjid. On two sides, in front of this rectangular 
edifice, are rows of two-storeyed cloisters. Opposite the mosque is also a similar 
cloister, which now houses a madarsa. According to the gazetteer, there stood an 
equally large temple built by Raja Vijaya Chandra of Kannauj, the father of Jai- 

The temple was demolished by Khwaja Kamal Khan in 1364 AD and the 
mosque was completed by Ibrahim in 1408 AD. Several dates were inscribed on 
the pillars which, incidentally, are the same as those that belonged to the temple. 
The cloisters on all the three sides with an 174 square feet courtyard in the middle, 
belonged to the temple. Nevill has quoted Cunningham. 

Yet another temple turned mosque is the Char Ungli, four fingers or Kha- 
lis-Mukhlis masjid. On the left of its main gate is the space for a small stone 
wherein exactly fit the four fingers of any hand, whether that of a child or a 
grown-up. It was believed to have miraculous powers whereby wishes can be ful- 
filled and curses come true. The original stone is missing and the space has been 
filled by a substitute. 

Mukhlis and Khalis were in turn governors of Jaunpur under Ibrahim Naib Bar- 
bak, who was anxious to build an edifice for the residence of a celebrated saint 
named Saiyid Usman of Shiraz, who had fled from Delhi during Timur's invasion. 
In 1908, when the gazetteer was published by Nevill, the descendants of the saint 
still resided near the mosque. The style of architecture is not very different from 
that of the Jhanjhari masjid. The roof stands on ten rows of Hindu temple pillars. 
According to the gazetteer, the mandir had been built by Raja Vijaya Chandra. 

The river Gomti flows through the city of Jaunpur and there is an impressive 
bridge across the river. It is a massive stone structure built in the 1560s. The bridge 
does not rise towards its centre but is fiat. It is an original construction. The only 
feature that mars its originality is a colossal stone lion standing over a small ele- 
phant. According to Nevill, it bears the stamp of ancient Hindu workmanship and 
must have adorned the gateway of some building erected by the Raja of Kannauj. 

To the west of the northern end of the bridge is the big fort of Jaunpur, built in 
the time of Ibrahim. But Firoz Shah Tughlaq is credited with having rebuilt the for- 
tress on an old structure inherited from the Hindu era. Evidence of the legacy is the 
masjid inside the fort, built on temple pillars Of various shapes and designs. Nevill 
has remarked that some of the pillars are upside down which supports the theory 


Hindu Masjids 

that a number of temples in Jaunpur were destroyed in order to provide stones 
required to build the fort; the inner face of almost every stone bore carvings, which 
had decorated Hindu temples. 

The author's visit to Jaunpur turned out to be a tragi-comedy of errors. He went 
to see the temple built by Jaichand and, instead, came back after seeing the icono- 
clastic exploits of Ibrahim Naib Barbak and Firoz Shah Tughlaq. He wondered 
what could have motivated medieval rulers to perform such acts of vandalism? His 
dismay deepened when he read the gazetteer written by an English Christian 
namely Nevill. He lamented that the work of demolition was so complete that 
hardly a vestige remains of this early epoch; but it is clear that Jaunpur must have 
been a place of considerable size, at any rate in the days of the last Hindu kings of 

12 Four Vandals, One Temple 

Vidisha was desecrated in turn by Iltutmish, 
Alauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat 
and Aurangzeb 

One night during the monsoon of 1991 , the rain was so heavy that it washed away 
the wall that was concealing the frontage of the Bijamandal mosque established by 
Aurangzeb in 1 682. This masjid is a centre of attraction in the district town of Vidi- 
sha situated some 40 kms from Bhopal. The broken wall exposed so many Hindu 
idols that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was left with no choice but to 
excavate. For three centuries, the idols were buried under the platform, on the 
northern side, which was used as the hall of prayer conducted specially on days of 
Eid. Fortunately, the district collector in 1991 happened to offer protection to the 
surveyors of ASI, who were otherwise reluctant to expose themselves to the wrath 
of bigots. 

Rich treasures of sculpture were thus salvaged. Some of the statues were partic- 
ularly splendid; some were as high as eight feet. The work of the archaeologists, 
however, did not last long. The ASI soon received instructions to stop further work. 
The officer of the ASI working on the excavations was transferred, as was the col- 
lector. Whether this had anything to do with the new Human Resource Develop- 
ment Minister, Arjun Singh, 1991-94, who happened to be the leader of the 
self-styled secular lobby in Madhya Pradesh, is not known. Since then, the Bija- 
mandal mosque is marking time with a great deal of sculpture hidden under its 
southern side. 

Cunningham 32 had personally visited Malwa during 1874 AD as well as 
1876 AD. This is what he had to write in Volume X of the ASI Report: Inside the 
town there is a stone masjid called Bijay Mandir, or the temple ofBijay. This Hindu 


Hindu Masjids 

name is said to have been derived from the founder of the original temple, Bijay 
Rani. The temple was thrown down by the order of Aurangzeb, and the present 
masjid erected in its place; but the Hindus still frequent it at the time of the annual 
fair. By the Muhammadans it is called the Alamgiri masjid, while Bhilsa (earlier 
name ofVidisha) itself is called Alamgirpur. The building is 78'A feet long by 26 l A 
feet broad, and the roof is supported on four rows of plain square pillars with IS 
openings to the front. 

Aurangzeb, 1658-1707, was the last of the iconoclasts who had a go at this edi- 
fice which was then known as the Vijay Mandir from which the successor mosque 
was known as Bijamandal. He celebrated the visit by renaming Vidisha as Alam- 
girpur. Despite some excavations between 1971 and 1974 which clearly showed 
that Bijamandal was originally a temple, namaz at Eid time continued right until 
1965 when Dr. Dwarka Prasad Mishra's government banned worship in, what was, 
a protected monument. Mishra earned the gratitude of most Vidishans and many 
others in Madhya Pradesh. 

Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, 1526-37, was the iconoclast ofVidisha, pre- 
ceding Aurangzeb. He captured the town and about the first thing he did was to des- 
ecrate the Vijay Mandir claiming that the conquest of Bhilsa was in the service of 
Islam. The episode is recorded in Mirat-I-Sikandri. About 200 years earlier, Sultan 
Alauddin Khilji, 1293, had also enjoyed the 'devout' pleasure of damaging Vijay 
Mandir. The honour of being the first iconoclast, however, went to Sultan Sham- 
suddin Iltutmish, 1234, yet another half a century earlier. This episode is described 
with relish in Tabqat-I-Nasiri. 

Not many temples have had the misfortune of having been desecrated four 
times. Being a huge structure, built in solid stone, it was able to survive and be res- 
tituted as a mandir, three times. The ASI has still to undo the damage perpetrated 
by Aurangzeb. Excavation work which stopped some nine years ago is yet to be 
resumed. Admittedly, it is difficult to redeem the pristine glory of Vijay Mandir, 
whose scale and dimensions are reminiscent of the Konark temple. Nevertheless, 
it would be a shame, if independent India allows its architectural treasures to 
remain in a state of desecration and remain buried without an attempt to even 
redeem them. 

It is all the more unfortunate that the ASI is not being allowed to work on the 
site despite pressure from local citizens. No other temple turned mosque has wit- 
nessed more repeated agitations and satyagraha, than Vijay Mandir. The citizens 

Three defaced statues inside the Bijamandal temple 
Photograph: April, 2000 

A beheaded statue in Bijamandal temple 

Photograph: April, 2000 

Shuddhi in Stone 


of Vidisha relate, how year after year, at Eid time they used to offer satyagraha and 
get arrested. Leaders who agitated even 50 years ago, are still alive to narrate the 
saga of their efforts. 

Octogenarian Niranjan Verma, a former parliamentarian, remembers how Jawa- 
harlal Nehru found some reason or the other not to meet the delegations led by him. 
Eventually, he diverted Verma to see Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who could not 
spare the time to visit Vidisha but deputed Prof Humayun Kabir, the then Educa- 
tion Secretary. The professor was impartial, and immediately conceded in the pres- 
ence of many a local citizen that it was indeed a temple. However, at this late stage, 
since the matter would take on political hues, as a bureaucrat, he could do little. 

Verma and his supporters also approached Dr Kailash Nath Katju when he 
became Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. The reply they got was that Verma and 
his men should first persuade the Congressmen of Vidisha into agreeing that the 
Chief Minister could intervene in Bijamandal. Not long after that, the delegation 
met the then Chief Minister Mandloi who, incidentally, was sympathetic. His only 
problem was the fear of Nehru's wrath, which he candidly admitted. As already 
mentioned, Mishra did bring a halt to namaz being conducted in the edifice. His 
government donated Rs. 40,000 for the construction of a separate idgaah nearby. 
By then Jawaharlal Nehru had been succeeded by the not antipathic Lai Bahadur 

A visit to Vidisha and interaction with the man in the street, would reflect that 
there is a lingering, although suppressed, but bitter resentment against the govern- 
ment treatment of what they believe to be their dearest treasure, architectural as 
well as sentimental. The moral of a pilgrimage to Vidisha is that no purpose would 
be served by hushing up what is naked history. 

13 Bhojshala Masjid 

Entry has been banned except once a year for 
the Hindus and 52 times for the Muslims 

The author's wife Nayana 3-5 spent seven years writing her PhD thesis on Lord Cur- 
zon, the Viceroy of India between 1899 and 1905. In many ways, Curzon was the 
father of archaeology in India. He had gone to the extent of extending a special 
grant to the princely ruler of Mandu, whose estate could not afford to pay for the 
restoration of the famous fortress. In March 2001, the author happened to 
visit Indore, and was happy to spare a day to go and see Mandu, the legendary cap- 
ital of Malwa founded by the dynasty of Raja Bhoj. On the way is situated the his- 
toric town of Dhar. 

The author's colleagues and he were taken aback when several men of the Cen- 
tral Reserve Police in mufti stopped them from entering the famous Bhojshala. 
They said that normal entry to this temple school founded by Raja Bhoj was pro- 
hibited. On persuasive questioning, one of the policemen told us, that if we were 
Muslim, we could go in for two hours on any Friday. On the other hand, Hindus 
were allowed entry only once a year, on Vasant Panchami or the day of Saraswati, 
the goddess of learning. If we belonged to any other faith, entry was regretted. 

No amount of coaxing was sufficient to make the policemen change their minds 
and allow us even a five minute walk through this historic temple school. We then 
realised why the compound had been barricaded although the neighbouring masjid 
named after Kamal Maula was functioning. So was a nearby dargaah and a few 
shops selling trinkets for rituals. 

This blatantly discriminatory order was issued by the Digvijay Singh govern- 
ment in 1997 when reports said that there was Hindu-Muslim tension in the area. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


The excuse given was that the Bhojshala was, in any case, a protected monument 
and barricading it would be the best way to secure its protection. Incidentally, there 
was no threat from anyone either damaging or demolishing the structure. 

The discriminatory order of entry 52 times a year to one community, and only 
once a year to another and none to the rest is based on an extraordinary precedent. 

The author understands that in 1935 on the insistence by some local residents of 
Dhar, which was then a princely state, that the Bhojshala was a Hindu institution 
—the temple of Goddess Saraswati, on the one hand, and a school, on the other. A 
photograph of the deity's image which adorned the temple is reproduced in this 
book. The idol is still on display in the British Museum in London. A part of the 
Sanskrit inscription which is engraved on a wall of the Bhojshala is also repro- 
duced. It is called Dhar Prasasti of Arjunavarma: Parijatamanjari-natika by 

On the strength of their conviction, the local residents demanded that the 
Bhojshala masjid be reconverted into a mandir. Although the Maharaja of Dhar 
was a Hindu, he was under the influence of the British Resident, who was reported 
to have advised him to ban entry into the edifice for a while. The Maharaja 
therefore did as advised, except for allowing Hindus to enter on Vasant Panchami 
day which is the day of Saraswati puja. Similarly, the Muslims were allowed entry 
on one day in the year. This precedent was twisted by the Digvijay Singh 
government into a disciminatory order mentioned earlier. Such are the wages of 
secularism in our country. 

It is best to quote the letter dated May 1, 1952 issued by the Collector of Dhar 
district of the then Madhya Bharat state which later became a part of Madhya 
Pradesh: / am directed to request you kindly to inform the Hindu Maha Sabha that 
the building called Bhoj shala situated at Dhar cannot be given to either the Hindu 
or the Muslim communities for conversion into a temple or afullfledged mosque 
and that this being an archaeological monument the right of entry to it would be 
conceded to all sections of people for purpose of sightseeing. The Muslim commu- 
nity may also be kindly informed, if necessary, that while the Muslims may continue 
to say their Friday prayers in the building, no effects must be kept there and nobody 
should use any part of it for residence. The Dhar State Huzur Durbar office fde 
year 1935-36. 

Bhojshala was a college. The District Gazetteer says that Raja Bhoj school is a 
mosque, a part of which was converted from a Hindu institution of the 1 1th cen- 


Hindu Masjids 

tury, the Saraswati temple or school. According to the publication, this shrine of 
Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, is described in the Sanskrit play of Arju- 
navarma Paramara, 1210-1 6 as the ornament of the eighty four squares ofDharan- 
agari. Two slabs were discovered behind the mehrab, one bearing the Prakrit odes 
of the 1 1th century (supposed to have been composed by Raja Bhoj himself) and 
the other the Sanskrit play mentioned above, which praises Arjunavarma. These 
slabs stand on the north side of the building and are beautiful specimens of the 
stone cutter's work. 

The Department of Archaeology, Gwalior, 1952, has in a special book dealt on 
the Cultural Heritage of Madhya Bharat, which, in 1956, amalgamated with the 
Central Provinces and came to be known as Madhya Pradesh. This book Dhar and 
Mandu reiterates what Major C.E. Luard, 34 the official gazeteer of Dhar, had said 
in 1912. The carved pillars used all over the building and the delicately carved ceil- 
ings of the prayer hall seem to have belonged to the original Bhojshala. On the 
pavement of the prayer hall are seen numerous slabs of black slate stone the writ- 
ings on which were also scraped off. From a few slabs recovered from another part 
of the building and now exhibited there, which contain the texts of the poetic works 
of Parijatamanjari and Kurmastotra, it appears that the old college was adorned 
with numerous Sanskrit and Maharashtri Prakrit texts, beautifully engraved on 
such slabs. 

The other well known monument in Dhar is the Lat masjid named after a square 
metal pillar whose total height must have been about 41 feet and which is preserved 
in three pieces of 7, 1 1 and 23 feet in a small compound next to the mosque. There 
is no rust anywhere which is an indication that it may be made of metal not differ- 
ent from the iron pillar near Qutb Minar. 

According to Luard, 35 the inscriptions on the eastern and northern gates indicate 
that the mosque was inaugurated by Amid Shah Daud Ghori, also known as Dila- 
war Khan, on January 17, 1405. The word "inaugurated" has been intentionally 
used, instead of Luard's use of "erected" because, evidently, the edifice is a mandir 
converted into a masjid. Incidentally, Emperor Jehangir called it Jami masjid. 

The Lat masjid has no minarets nor the traditional hauz in which the devotee can 
wash his hands and feet before performing namaz. It is a large rectangular pavilion 
with a great deal of open space in the centre. The four sided pavilion originally 
stood on some 300 square shaped stone pillars. On conversion by Dilawar Khan, 
the spaces between the outermost row of pillars were evidently filled with a wall 


Hindu Masjids 

Shuddhi in Stone 



Hindu Masjids 

Profile of a Hindu statue on a pillar in Lat masjid, Dhar 
Photograph: March, 2001 


Hindu Masjids 

somewhat thinner than the pillars. The entire scene is reminiscent of a temple rather 
than a mosque. However, such a feeling is not evidence enough of conversion by 
Dilawar Khan. Any number of pillars, however, on the eastern or the end opposite 
to where the mehrab and the mimbar are, have at their lower end, defaced carvings 
of murtis reminiscent of Vishnu. Every effort has been made on most such pillars 
to erase the statuettes but the outline of the murti is clearly seen. For example, the 
pillar at the corner of the eastern and the northern end has two statuettes on two 
faces of the pillar. Similarly, on the next pillar. Then coming to the south-eastern 
corner, every pillar bears Vishnu's image outline. All this shows that .the Lat masjid 
is a blatant case of conversion from a mandir. It is not like several thousand 
mosques which were built with stones and statues, taken from demolished mandirs. 

To return to Luard, the lat was a jayastambha or a pillar of victory of Raja Bhoj 
in 1042 AD over the joint forces of Gangyadeva and Jayasinha, the rulers of Tel- 
ingana. This battle is reputed to have been the source of the proverb kahan Raja 
Bhoj our kahan Gangli Tell Although Ganga or Gangli Teli was a capable oil 
crusher of Dhar, she had sided with her brethren from Telingana. 

The masjids being near the centre of Dhar, we were able to talk to several local 
residents who were not only pained at the prohibitory orders for Bhojshala, but also 
made repeated references to the Lat masjid. The central thrust of their complaint 
was that most of them could not afford to travel to distant places of pilgrimage. For 
them, therefore, Bhojshala represents about the only holy place within their reach. 
If access to that also is denied, were they expected to become Muslims, so that they 
could go in every Friday? 

There is, as it were, a 364 day ban on the entry of Hindus to what is essentially 
a Hindu heritage and continues to be called Saraswati mandir. Even the Muslims 
call it Bhojshala masjid and show little interest in worshipping at this converted 
temple. Why should Bhojshala be inaccessible to the community to which it 

14 Seven Temples Kept Buried 

An example of Muslim appeasement 

Had the two constables of the Reserve Police not been asleep on June 29, 2000, the 
author would have been denied the privilege of seeing an archaeological treasure 
of his homeland. For about 20 minutes, he was able to walk around the Rudrama- 
halaya complex at Siddhpur in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. He was also able to 
take a minute off to have darshan of a Shivling in the premises. He could not go 
much further because one of the constables woke up and politely told him to leave 
the precincts as he had strict instructions from the government not to allow anyone 
to enter the Rudramahalaya. 

Siddhpur is to departed mothers what Gaya is for dead fathers. In fact, it is called 
Matrigaya where a Hindu could offer shraddh to the soul of his mother. Hindu 
sarovar is where the ceremony is performed. Equally dear is Siddhpur, especially 
to Gujaratis, as the city is named after Gujarat's famous monarch who ruled in 
premedieval times. After he attained siddhi or success as the most powerful king 
of north-west India, if not the whole subcontinent, he attained the title of Siddhraj. 
His name was Jaisinh Solanki (1094 to 11 43 AD). 

On the intervention of the National Minorities Commission in 1983, the Archae- 
ological Survey of India (ASI) has been prevented from carrying on any excava- 
tions in or around the Rudramahalaya complex where once existed the tallest 
temple in Gujarat. From its top could be seen glimpses of Patan, the capital of the 
ancient kings of Gujarat, some 25 kms away. From the top it is believed were also 
visible some temple mashaals in Ahmedabad when the capital was shifted there by 
Ahmed Shah in the 15th century. That is 1 12 kms away. 


Hindu Masjids 

Even today, the ruins demonstrate the finery of the sculpture. Human faces have 
been mutilated. The tablet displayed at the spot by the ASI says the following: This 
is the grandest and the most impressive conception of a temple dedicated to Siva 
associated with Siddharaj who ruled in the 12th century AD though tradition 
accords its construction to Mularaj during the 10th century AD. 

The Jami Masjid (mentioned in the blurb) is a modest affair. Its gate is so small 
that not more than two persons can enter at the same time. On its top are two min- 
arets less than three feet tall. As one crossed the gate, there are four small temple 
sancti, one on the left and three on the right. It is clear that the sancti had been 
walled up and converted into a mebraab for the prayer space; Beyond this is the 
square tank from ancient times which was also used by those who came for ibadat. 
Beyond, stand a few handsome pillars and carvings that have survived from ancient 

According to a neighbour, no prayers take place except for the odd Hindu drop- 
ping in for darshan of the only surviving Shivling in one of the four sancti. The 
brick walls of the other three sancti have also been removed although there are only 
platforms now without the idols. 

The National Minorities Commission has influenced governments, both at Delhi 
and at Gandhinagar into freezing the excavation work that was begun by the ASI 
in 1979. The details are available across 38 pages in the commission's Fourth 
Annual Report dated 1983. Improvement of the environments of the masjid was 
first conceived in 1959 in response to a complaint repeatedly made by the local 
Muslims that the ASI had been neglecting the repair and upkeep of the masjid. Yet, 
after 1983, the commission has not only ensured that the work was frozen but also 
that all the excavations made should be covered up. And this has been done despite 
what came out. The author was able to see a stone Nandi bull in a mutilated condi- 
tion. The rest of the relics were covered up. 

According to the report, Begum Ayesha, MLA, played a leading part in the 
cover up operation. K.T. Satarawala, the then Adviser to the Governor of Gujarat, 
also played a yeoman's role by providing a detailed report on the subject. That 
Muslim appellants were able to push the ASI, is best quoted from the Fourth 
Annual Report itself. 

A.S. Quereshi, advocate, for the (Muslim) Trustees, issued a notice dated Febru- 
rary 6, 1980 to the Superintendent, Archaeological Department, asking the depart- 

Shuddhi in Stone 


ment to build compound walls as per the compromise and to cover up the temple 
remains. The superintendent explained in person the importance of the discoveries 
made and the need for revision of the compromise in the interests of preserving the 
precious cultural heritage of the country. 

As Mr Quereshi wanted to visit the site along with the Superintendent, Archae- 
ological Department, he went to Siddhpur on March 8, 1980. At first, he agreed to 
the preservation but later he insisted on getting the trenches closed in his presence 
that day. The superintendent ordered closure of the trenches and construction of the 
compound wall and both the works were started in his presence. 

Should the work of the ASI be allowed to be halted by the intervention of the 
Minorities Commission? Should a commission work at the behest of narrow local 
vested interests? Or, should not the government rein in the commission from 
undertaking such obstructionist activity? If there is legitimacy in such activity, 
would it not be logical that the ASI be wound up? Which, of course, would imply 
that we have lost interest in the search for our civilisational heritage. 

15 Adina Masjid 

Shiv mandir desecrated 

In his many years in Kolkata, the author never heard any mention of iconoclastic 
attacks in Bengal. The area was therefore not on his mind, when looking for tem- 
ples which had been converted into mosques. Yet recently to his utter surprise, a 
livewire Bengali young man told him that he had been to the Adina mosque in Pan- 
dua, 1 8 km north of Malda. At the first opportunity thereafter, the author visited the 
spot duly equipped with a camera. 

The Adina or Friday mosque is situated on National Hiighway No. 34 between 
Raiganj in West Dinajpur district of West Bengal and Malda. At first glimpse, the 
dual colour of the edifice walls strikes the visitor. The first ten feet immediately 
above the ground are grey in colour because of stone tiles. The upper 12 feet com- 
prise of red brick work. Evidently, the current mosque was superimposed on an ear- 
lier building. 

Hardly had one walked a few steps after entering the main gate, when one 
noticed, on the wall outside, distinct remnants of Hindu deities. They are carved on 
solid stone which on the outside mingles quite naturally with the tile work of the 
same stone. One stone slab displays Ganesh by the side of his consort. There are 
several others including the crests of doorways at the entrance of the northern as 
well as the eastern face. Inside the mosque, the stone work is equally convincing 
that the original building was a temple. 

There are some 20 alcoves in the northern wall. They all give the impression of 
temple carvings. If there be any doubt, it is set at rest by what was used as mimbar 
or the pulpit for the Imam. The face of the last step is covered with carvings of two 


Hindu Masjids 

female figures which, of course, have been defaced but are still unmistakably 
human statuettes. 

The author's visit to the Adina mosque was in February, 2001. Passage of time 
must have taken its toll on the condition of the Adina mosque. Moreover, the 
author's lay eyes are unlikely to have captured what experts had seen earlier. 
Amongst them, who better than Cunningham? 37 Let us see what he had to say after 
his visit during 1879-80, in his report entitled./* Tour in Bihar and Bengal Volume 

The steps leading up to the pulpit have fallen down, and, on turning over one of 
the steps I found a line of Hindu sculpture of very fine and bold execution. This 
stone is 4 feet in length, and apparently formed part of a frieze. The main ornament 
is a line of circular panels 7% inches in diameter, formed by continuous intersect- 
ing lotus stalks. There are five complete panels, and two half-panels which have 
been cut through. These two contain portions of an elephant and a rhinoceros. In 
the complete panels there are (1) a cow and calf; (2) human figures broken; (3) a 
goose; (4) a man and woman, and a crocodile; (5) two elephants. The carving is 
deep, and the whole has been polished. In the niche itself, the two side pillars which 
support the cusped arch are also pickings from Hindu temples. 

Some years later in 1888, a civil engineer of ASI in Bengal, Joseph Daviditch 
Milik Beglaroff, 38 surveyed the Adina mosque. This is what he had to say in his 
official report entitled Archaeological Survey of Bengal, Part II; 

The West wall of the Masjid it will be seen, barely leaves room for these. A fur- 
ther circumstance which may and possibly did determine, the position of the West 
wall of the Masjid, is, that in all probability, the sanctum of the temple, judging 
from the remnants of heavy pedestals of statues, now built into the pulpit, and the 
superb canopied trefoils, now doing duty as prayer niches, stood where the main 
prayer niche now stands; nothing would probably so tickle the fancy of a bigot, as 
the power of placing the sanctum of his orthodox cult, (in this case the main prayer 
niche) on the spot, where the hated infidel had his sanctum; and utilising to the 
honor of his own religion, the very canopies of the idolatrous statues; for there is 
no doubt whatever, in my mind, comparing these trefoils with the recently discov- 
ered similar trefoils at Kylas over figures of Parvati, (see report Part I of last year) 
that these trefoils are really the canopies over the statues originally enshrined 


Hindu Masjids 

Shuddhi in Stone 



Hindu Masjids 

There is a local legend to the effect that the Adina mosque was built by Sultan 
Jalaluddin Mohammad Shah. His original name was Jadu who, at the age of 12, had 
been made to convert to Islam by his father, Raja Ganesh. Subsequently, the Raja 
regretted his action and had a swarnadhenu yagna ceremony associated with a 
golden cow. Jadu alias Jalaluddin Mohammad Shah, however, refused to abandon 
Islam. Thereafter Hindu courtiers tried to put Mahendra Dev, Jadu's brother, on the 
throne. This apparently enraged Jalaluddin so much that he turned into an icono- 
clast who not only destroyed idols and temples but also forced many Hindus to 
embrace Islam. 

This legend, however, in no way explains as to why a Muslim should proudly 
include stones with carvings of Hindu deities on them when building a mosque? 
When the rubble of temples was used for building a masjid, the stones with carv- 
ings were turned inwards so that they could not be seen. It does not make sense that 
the Muslim builder would go out of his way to display Hindu figures on the outside, 
whether on a wall or as crests on doorways or below a mimbar. Which all goes to 
prove that the Adina mosque is a masjid superimposed on a desecrated temple and 
is an ideal object of shuddhi. 

On return to Delhi, the author looked for literature on the Adina mosque. There 
has obviously been a fair amount of work done on this place of worship. Memoirs 
of Gaur and Pandua by M. Abid Ali Khan 39 subsequently revised by 
H.E. Stapleton. 40 A more recent work of scholarship is entitled Mosque Architec- 
ture of Pre-Mughal Bengal by Dr Syed Mahmudul Hasan. 

Evidently, local legend as to who built the Adina mosque and why, appears to 
be incorrect. According to scholars, it was established by Sultan Sikandar Shah 
between 1366 and 1374 AD. There is a difference of opinion especially between 
J.H.Ravenshaw and other scholars as to whether Gaur, the famous capital of medi- 
eval Bengal was older or whether Hazrat Pandua, where Adina is located, flour- 
ished earlier. 

The significance of the controversy is about how much rubble from pre-Islamic 
edifices could have been used. Dr Hasan is impartial enough to quote various 
scholars at length, although he betrays some unhappiness at the allegation about 
use of Hindu material. For example, he says Ilahi Bakhsh, Creighton, Ravenshaw, 
Buchanan-Hamilton, Westmacott, Beglar, Cunningham, King, and a host of other 
historians and archaeologists offer glowing testimony to the utilisation of 
non-Muslim materials, but none of them ventured to say that existing temples were 

Shuddhi in Stone 


dismantled and materials provided for the construction of magnificent monuments 
in Gaur and Hazrat Pandua. He accuses E.G.Havell of being so intolerant as not to 
give any credit to the Muslim builders for the use of radiating arches, domes, min- 
arets and delicate relief works. 

Havell maintained that the central mehrab of the Adina masjid at Hazrat Pandua 
is so obviously Hindu in design, as to hardly require any comment. The image of 
Vishnu or Surya has trefoil arched canopy, symbolizing the aura of the god, of 
exactly the same type as the outer arch of the mihrab, Beglar says that the Muslims 
delighted in placing the sanctum of his orthodox cult (in this case the main prayer 
niche) on the spot, where hated infidel had his sanctum. S.K. Saraswati 41 is also 
emphatic about the Hindu origin of the mosque. He has not been quoted as he was 
a Hindu and therefore could have been biased. In this context, Muslim, Christian 
or British scholars would appear to lend greater credence. 

The credit for starting the controversy over the Adina, however, goes to Munshi 
Ilahi Bakhsh of Malda. He wrote that it is worth observing that in front of the chau- 
kath or lintel of the Adina masjid, there was a broken and polished idol, and that 
there were other idols lying about. So it appears that, in fact, this mosque was orig- 
inally a temple adorned with idols. 

16 Jungle Pirbaba 

Mazaar was a mandir 

A holy man once asked a boatman to ferry him across the river Rajpoa in what is 
now the Howrah district of West Bengal. Since the holy man did not have any mon- 
ey, he promised to pay for the voyage by giving one of his goats, of which he had 
many. On reaching his destination, the holy man handed over a goat to the boatman 
who, instead of saying thanks, ran away as if to save his life. The goat had turned 
into a tiger. Evidently, the holy man had supernatural powers. 

Local legend has it that officials of the Maharajah of Burdwan, while on an 
inspection tour, found the holy man living in a temple. They wondered why a Mus- 
lim saint should occupy a Hindu mandir. He treated the question as a challenge and 
asked for a personal interview with the Maharajah. On meeting the holy man in his 
palace, the prince certainly did not run away but was greatly awed by the sight of 
goats turning into tigers. He also acceeded readily to the man's request for being 
granted some land. 

Whether the grant was around the present tomb of the holy man or not is not 
recorded anywhere. Athough, Shri Hemendra Bandyopadhyay 42 in his history of 
Howrah, called in Bengali Howrah Zellar Itihas, describes these episodes. The 
man came from Arabia. The current caretaker of the tomb, Shaikh Maqbool very 
proudly told the author that the Pirbaba came from Arabia to preach Islam. His 
guess was that this happened some 250 years ago. Until his coming, there were no 
Muslims in the area. Today more than half the population of the village Baniban, 
which the author visited in July, 2001, is Muslim. Howrah district also has a large 
Muslim presence some of whom must be due to the proselytising of this Pirbaba 
whose name was Abbas-uddin Shah, although, he was popularly known as Jungle 
Pir Saheb, presumably because the area was then a dense forest. 


Hindu Masjids 

Baba's miracles were repeatedly mentioned by the people of the mazaar. Super- 
stition, as it were, was the theme song of the shrine. The author was told by those 
present at Baniban, that every year on 14th January, over a lac (100,000) of people 
gather at a fair. It is known as the Junglee Bilash Pirer Mela. Many Hindus also 
come. Almost all Hindus of the village rever the Baba but are not allowed into the 
mazaar premises. Several boys, including a Banerjee, whispered to the author's two 
companions, their utter surprise that we had gained easy, entry. A former member 
of the Wakf, who had also come along on seeing us, said that the mazaar was built 
by no one. Caretaker Shaikh Maqbool confirmed and added that the edifice required 
no repairs at all. Only it was painted every year before the 14th January fair. 

On the day of the Mela, quite a few women take a dip in the pond near the maz- 
aar and then offer flowers while bathing. If the petals glide back to the offerer, she 
would go to the caretakers, collect a betel leaf or paan from them and consume it 
along with the petals. The hope would be, to be able to have a baby. On the other 
hand, men offer flowers in the hope that the petals would glide across the pond. If 
they cross the water, any wish of the offerer would be fulfilled. Such is the magnet 
of faith or superstition! Or the charisma of the Pirbaba. One of the elders who had 
also joined us, pointed to a tree close to the mazaar. Its leaves were dark green and 
nearly round or oval. The fruit was black. According to the elder, nowhere else in 
Bengal was there such a species of tree. It had been planted by the baba and was 
still going strong! 

To satisfy the author's curiosity, several of the folk present recounted the great- 
ness of Pirbaba. It was little wonder they said, that on the night after he had 
ascended to heaven, all of a sudden the mazaar emerged miraculously. Obviously, 
it was a divine signal for his followers to bury him inside the edifice. Incidentally, 
the only room in the edifice is a relatively small one, and is not much bigger than 
say twice the area of the tombstone which is covered with a bright green and red 
chador. There is just about sufficient space to go around the tombstone. The height 
of the room is also low and proportionate to the smallness of the floor. There are 
no windows and hardly any embellishments. Three of the walls have approxi- 
mately 20cm x 30cm depressions for holding wick lamps. The fourth wall has the 
only door to the room. 

There is no hint of a dome which one normally looks forward to seeing in Mus- 
lim architecture. The roof is not quite flat. It is sloped on all four sides. The slopes 
are gradual and slightly curving. In Bengal this kind of work is called aatchalah 


Hindu Masjids 

which is known to be a typically Hindu temple design. Bandyopadhyay ends the 
chapter on Baniban in his book with a gentle remark about the Hindu similarity. 

Let us see what the Howrah District Gazetteer compiled by Amiya Kumar Ban- 
erji IAS and published in Novermber, 1972 has to say. The previous gazetteer was 
written by L.S.S. O'Malley and M. Chakravarti and published in 1909. Much of the 
older material has been taken while writing the 1972 edition: 

The neighbouring village of Jangalbilas is a place of Mohammedan pilgrmage 
centring round the mosque of Pir Saheb, a Muslim saint. Popular legends connect 
the Pir with an unnamed Raja of Burdwan, who after witnessing a miracle per- 
formed by the Pir, made free gift of the village to the latter. 

The mosque is a charchala brick structure, unusual for a mosque, with a height 
of about 20 feet. Two stone door-jambs flanking the closed entrance on the south 
display geometrical designs and lotus motifs which, on stylistic grounds, appear to 
belong to the ll th -13 th centuries although the mosque itself could not have been 
built before the 1 6th century. The annual festival of the saint commences on the last 
day of the Bengali month of Poush (mid-January) and lasts for seven consecutive 
days. On the first two days, Hindus and Muslims alike gather on the bank of the 
adjacent tank and offer flowers and simi into the tank in the name of the Pir. 

Apart from the look and the architecture of the mazaar, the people the author 
met at Baniban appeared a little uneasy although friendly. The unsolicited state- 
ment by the caretaker soon after the author's arrival that the edifice needs no 
repairs seemed hasty, although the author took no note of it immediately. When the 
former member of the Wakf board volunteered to say that no one built the mazaar, 
but it had suddenly emerged overnight, the author wondered why was this assertion 
made inspite of the author not asking about its origin. Then on the way back, the 
author's companions told him that Hindus were not allowed inside the mazaar. 
This was surprising, as Muslims welcome everyone to most of their holy places, 
certainly to mazaars and dargahs. Why was Baniban an exception? Was the maz- 
aar a Shiv or Shankar mandir before Pirbaba's death? The author cannot but sus- 
pect so, since that July morning. 

1 7 Mandir and Dargah in One Building 

A Hindu became a Muslim to save the mandir 

It was on a November day in 1484 AD that Champaner, a prestigious kingdom 
160km from Vadodara, popularly known as Baroda in Gujarat, fell to Muhammad 
Shah, the Sultan of Ahmedabad. He had planned and tried to capture Champaner 
several times before, but had found the fortress called Pavagadh to be invincible. 
Moreover, he had as a courtier one Sadanshah Faqir, alias Sahadev Joshi, a Brah- 
min turned Muslim. The Faqir kept the rajah of Champaner, Pavapati Jaisinh Dev 
informed of the sultan's moves. He had changed his faith merely to be acceptable 
to Muhammad Shah. This legend was confirmecl by the book called Rai Benirai by 
Ramesh Joshi, Gujarat Pustakalaya, Vadodara, 1995. 

That November day, however, the sultan's army was able to storm the fort of 
Champaner. The decisive factor was the treachery of Jaisinh Dev's brother-in-law 
Saiyan Vankalio who showed the way to break in. The rajahs of Sirohi and Idar are 
believed to have helped Muhammad Shah according to Ramesh Joshi. 

Although they were allies of the Muslim sultan, they did not abandon their loy- 
alty to goddess Mahakali whose temple had, for centuries, crowned the Pavagadh 
hill that overlooked the city of Champaner. Even on the evening of their victory, 
they did not forget to go up to the temple to get a darshan of the Mahakali. Sadan- 
shah Faqir was waiting for them. He had feared that in the aftermath of victory, the 
sultan would come up the hill to see the legendary temple and its deity. The Faqir 
therefore implored the rajahs of Sirohi and Idar to take away the idol of Mahakali 
with them to one of their kingdoms and save it from the iconoclasm of Muhammad 


Hindu Masjids 

Knowing the sultan's temper, they were apprehensive of his vengeance in the 
event he found that they had smuggled out the deity on the morrow of his victory. 
Especially because, after apprehending Jaisinh Dev, Muhammad Shah had offered 
the throne of Champaner back to him, on the condition that he embrace Islam 
immediately. Although badly wounded and bleeding, the defeated rajah was defi- 
ant. Pulling out the sword of one of the guards around him, he swung it at the sultan 
who fortuitously stepped back and saved himself, although another guard near him 
got beheaded. So furious was the defiance of Jaisinh. He was killed thereafter by 
the sultan's soldiers within minutes. 

Nevertheless, being faithfuls of the goddess Mahakali, the rajahs of Sirohi and 
Idar heard the reassurances of Sadanshah. If they took away the idol, the Faqir 
would report to the sultan that he had tried his best to hold back the deity for his 
royal visit to the Pavagadh temple. But before the rajahs could take away the idol, 
the goddess disappeared into the ground below. Her plaited hair however remained 
clutched in the hand of Sadanshah. Muhammad Shah could not get to the goddess, 
although local legend has it that he used artillery to knock down the ancient temple. 
One of the guns believed to have been used in the operation, still lies atop Pavagadh 

What the old temple looked like, no one knows today. The present mandir is of 
comparatively recent origin; probably built by a Maratha chieftain in the decades 
preceding the third battle of Panipat in 1761. As a tribute to Sadanshah Faqir alias 
Sahadev Joshi, for saving the idol of Mahakali from the sultan's iconoclastic fury, 
he is called Pir Sadanshah. A dargah in his memory was built on the roof of the 
mandir. The author does not know of any other single construction which at once 
houses a Hindu temple and a Muslim dargah. On the day of his visit, a Muslim dev- 
otee was selling taveez or metal trinkets at five rupees a piece. 

Hundreds of devotees go up to the dargah after having darshan of Mahakali on 
the floor below. Nearly all of them appear to be Hindus. The ascent to the mandir 
is hard work for it means climbing 2,830 feet from the foot of the hill. The author 
was told that during navaratri or the nine days preceding dussehra, Pavagadh is 
thronged by thousands of pilgrims. For those who can afford cars, it is easy to drive 
upto Machi. Thereafter, for Rs. 37.00 one can ride a ropeway known in Gujarati as 
uran khatola. The last steps numbering about 240 again make tough climbing for 
the aged devotees, some of whom hire a palki carried by men for Rs. 250 each. The 
younger, or the poorer devotees, climb all the way. 


Hindu Masjids 


Hindu Masjids 

Champaner was the premier capital of Gujarat before the rise of Siddhpur near 
Patan under Siddhraj Jaisinh Solanki and his father during the 1 0 th century. Cham- 
paner rose to fame again when Muhammad Shah Begda, the son and successor of 
Ahmed Shah who, incidentally, had renamed the city of Karnavati as Ahmedabad 
early in the 15th century. Due to shortages of water, Begda's successors had to 
move back to Ahmedabad. In the event, Champaner ceased to enjoy its pre-emi- 
nence. Over the last several decades, serious efforts have been made by non-gov- 
ernmental agencies to excavate and revive the many glorious buildings that 
adorned the area. It is not widely known why Muhammad Shah came to be called 
Begda. He had earlier conquered Junagadh in the Saurashtra area of Gujarat. That 
was one gadh or fort. When he captured Pavagadh, he had won two gadhs. In the 
Gujarati language, be means two, so maybe two forts or Begda or begadha. 

Going back to Champaner, its soil must be proud that it produced the unusual 
person of Sahadev Joshi. He gave up his faith and became a Muslim in order to save 
his matribhoomi or motherland, as well as his goddess Mahakali, from desecration. 
This is the only case of a person sacrificing, as distinct from changing, his religion. 
Remarkable indeed! 

18 Shuddhi by Government 

A full circle. From Jain temple to masjid to 
Bharat Mata mandir 

What is now known as Daulatabad was originally Devagiri Fort built by King 
Bhilamma V, a Yadav king who ruled the area in the year approximating 1 1 84 AD. 
It was taken through deception by Allauddin Khilji in 1294 AD when he was still 
not the sultan and had pretended to be a disaffected nobleman. Twelve years later 
in 1306 AD, Malik Kafur who was a general in Sultan Allauddin's army, invaded 
the south and captured Daulatabad. The ostensible purpose of his invasion was to 
reinforce repatriation of revenues of the area, as had been agreed to during the ear- 
lier invasion of Khirki. Six years later, Kafur came again for enforcing the same 
agreement although this time he was extremely punitive. He went to the extent of 
beheading the ruling raja named Shankerdeo. Yet another six years later in 
13 18 AD the successor Hasrapala rebelled against the sultan. He was punished by 
Malik Kafur, whose cruelty became legend in the area because he had Hasrapala 
flayed alive. 

Then came Muhammad bin Tughlaq who took over the fort when he shifted his 
capital from Delhi to Devagiri in 1326 AD. In fact, it is he who introduced the name 
Daulatabad. Much later during the 14 th century, Hassan Gangu Abu'l Muzaffar 
Ala-ud-din Bahman Shah and his successors captured the fortress and were in pos- 
session until the advent of the Mughals in the 17 th century. On Augangzeb's death 
in 1707, the Nizam of the Asafjahi dynasty appropriated Daulatabad as part of his 
domain, along with his declaration of independence from the Mughal emperor. 
Incidentally, Daulatabad can be termed as having been charismatic for the rulers of 
Delhi. In 1653, Shahjehan through his Khan-e-Khanan, Mahabat Khan, invested 
the fort and had the khutba read at the Jami masjid in the emperor's name. 


Hindu Masjids 

Evidently, the history of Daulatabad has been littered with blood and cruelty. 
Nevertheless, the fortress remained an edifice to be proud of. As quoted in the 
Cambridge History of India, Volume III, London, 1 928, Ibn Batutah, who visited 
the area early in the 14 th century, described Daulatabad as a great and magnificent 
city equal to Delhi. Three centuries later, the official chronicler of Shahjehan, 
Abu-ul-Hamid Lahori, waxed eloquent about the fort: 

This lofty fortress, the ancient names of which were Deogir and Dharagir is a 
mass of rock which raises its head towards heaven. The rock has been scarped 
throughout its circumference, which measures 5,000 legal yards, to a depth which 
ensures the retention of water in the ditch at the foot of the escarpment .... Through 
the centre of the hill a dark spiral passage like the ascent of a minar, which it is 
impossible to traverse, even in daylight, without a lamp, had been cut, and the steps 
in this passage are cut out of the rock... The ordinary means of reducing fortresses, 
such as mines, covered ways, batteries, etc., are useless against this strong for- 
tress. This passage still exists and is the only work the attribution of which to 
Muhammad is doubtful, for Ibn Batutah, who visited Daulatabad late in 1342 or 
early in 1343, records that access to the citadel was then gained by means of a 
leathern ladder. 

What however is of interest to us is the unusual shuddhi that the temple under- 
vent inside the outer wall of the fortress. This historical event took place in 1948 
on the morrow of the police action by the Government of India during the takeover 
of the Nizam's Hyderabad. There had been a great deal of local pressure for the res- 
titution of the temple. Leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as well as Shri Kan- 
haiyalal Munshi were also aware that it was a Jain mandir which had been forcibly 
converted into a masjid by Alauddin Khilji. 

However, to avoid giving a religious or a communal colour to the shuddhi or 
reconversion, the idol installed in the sanctum sanctorum was that of Bharat Mata. 
It is therefore now known as the Bharat Mata temple, although for 700 years it had 
been called Jami masjid. The mandir was built on a plan not dissimilar to Palitana 
in Gujarat and Dilwara at Mount Abu, Rajasthan. There is a large courtyard. There 
were the usual traditional 52 pillars as in Jain places of worship. At the western end 
was a hall, typical of an ancient temple. A flat roof was held aloft by 1 52 stone pil- 
lars. The author and his colleagues during their visit in 200 1 were told on authority 
that the pillars were constructed according to the Himar Panti style of architecture, 
one of whose special characteristics was the interlocking of stones without the use 
of any cementing material. 


Hindu Masjids 

Pillar with statuettes at Daulatabad 

Photograph: September, 2001 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Doorway at Daulatabad fort with defaced statuette 
Photograph: September, 2001 


Hindu Masjids 

Image of Bharat Mata installed at Daulatabad after police action against the Nizam of 
Hyderabad in 1948 

Photograph: September, 2001 

Shuddhi in Stone 


The flat roof had been modified to the extent that a small dome had been raised 
above where the mimbar was, prior to the shuddhi in 1 948. On several of the beams 
were engraved the Chalukia emblem called Kiritmukh Patti which only confirmed 
that the temple was built during Chalukia rule. An unusual sight was the terracota 
colour with which the 152 pillars were coloured upto a height of about 12 feet. 
Above that, was white colouring. We were told that this was done during the 
Nizam's period. One can only presume that the intention might have been to dis- 
tract attention from the Jain character of the edifice. 

Also, between the outermost wall and the third fort wall, there is a structure 
which is much smaller than the Bharat Mata temple but of a similar design. There 
is however no courtyard. Uncannily, an image of Mahavir Swami can still be seen 
on more than one of the pillars. Until 1948, there must have been a mehraab cov- 
ering the sanctum sanctorum, because around the area there are several Arabic 
inscriptions recalling the name of Almighty Allah. 

All in all, the Daulatabad fort is an enormous structure covering many hectares 
of a hill face. It was considered impregnable because it was taken only by intrigue 
and not by force. The highest point was reported to be 80 meters. It was the admin- 
istrative centre of the area until Aurangzeb established himself at the nearby city of 
Khirki renamed Aurangabad by him. Defences were reinforced with the help of a 
series of four walls. There is a moat between the innermost and the second wall. 
Incidentally, not far from the entrance to the outermost wall, there is a soaring 
Chand Minar whose idea was evidently inspired by the Qutb Minar in Delhi. It is 
63 meters high and is still in an immaculate condition. It was built by King Ahmed 
Shah Bahamani to celebrate his rule. Right at the top of the hill fort, is the baradari 
hall, built as a conference hall when the Mughal emperor happened to visit 

19 Iconoclasm Continues in Pakistan, 
Bangladesh and in Kashmir 

One evening in July, 2001, the author happened to meet in Delhi a young man 
working for the British foreign office. By an unusual coincidence, he happened to 
have looked through The Saffron Book by the author. 44 He said he liked it, but for 
one of its sections entitled Humiliation. This section describes a few temple dese- 
crations. It also claims that those temples, although converted into mosques, still 
look more like mandirs and should therefore be returned to the Hindus. This sug- 
gestion had seemed mischievous to the young man who incidentally had a fair idea 
of India. He was no one to deny the facts of history but asked: why dig up the past? 
How can medieval wrongs be righted with the help of modern retaliation? In any 
case, India has many socio-economic priorities. Surely getting temples back, is not 
one of them. 

The author tried to explain to the young man the slavish mentality that afflicts 
some of us Hindus due to the trauma of atrocities committed by the invaders. Now 
we need to regain self respect and self confidence. He was evidently not registering 
any of the author's explanations. Mind you, a social gathering was not the best 
place to either discuss a book or a temple or a historic trauma. At the same time, 
his having raised the point, the author had to convince him especially because we 
might not meet again. The author therefore told him that his impression that temple 
desecration was only a medieval phenomenon was wrong. It is a continuing crime. 
Any number of temples have been destroyed, demolished or set on fire during the 
last one decade. At first, the British gentleman did not believe the author. 

The author therefore had no choice but to get from him, his address. So that he 
could send him the actual details of the kind of havoc that fanatics have perpetrated 
on the temples in the subcontinent. In a way, this encounter with the young man 

Shuddhi in Stone 


was helpful. But for him, the author might not have compiled the list, and certainly 
not obtained details of desecration in Pakistan. A testimonial for what has been 
happening in Bangladesh was best given by the persecuted Ms Taslima Nasrin. 45 

A Muslim lady certifying the desecration of temples in her own country was, for 
the fair minded British individual, more than sufficient proof. The author's quoting 
books and records by Indians, especially Hindu, about the Kashmir Valley and 
Pakistan might not have been quite so readily convincing had he not been able to 
quote ad lib from Nasrin's Lajja. Little do people realise that Hindus have, seldom 
in history, recorded the destruction of their own temples. All contemporary records 
of the past were written by Muslim chroniclers. One of the first of these was Al- 
Beruni, who wrote at length about the exploits of the notorious iconoclast Mahmud 

Subsequently, British archaeologists, surveyors as well as historians and sol- 
diers began their yeoman's contribution to India's heritage, its discovery, descrip- 
tion as well as significance. Very little of these invaluable records have been 
included in the books on Indian history, which have pretensions of scholarship. 
Some 3,000' temples, over and above the recent ones, that the author is going to 
mention, were desecrated. But very few of the episodes have found their way into 
books of history. About the only ones popularly known are Somnath, Benares and 
Mathura. Of the rest, temple destruction can be described as India 's ignored his- 

Lest the author sound antagonistic towards either Bangladesh or Pakistan, let 
him begin with the destruction that has taken place in the Kashmir Valley since 
1990. He is quoting from a book called Kashmir: Wail of a Valley by R.N. Kaul, 
Sterling Publishers, New Delhi. 46 Amongst the prominent temples to be set on fire 
was the Dashnami Akhara in Srinagar. It is the mandir from where the annual sum- 
mer pilgrimage to Amarnath begins. Ganpatyar temple has been attacked again and 
again including by bombs. It has also been subjected to two separate rocket attacks. 
The Shiva temple at Jawahir Nagar, a well known locality of Srinagar, was yet 
another object of attack. At Anantnag, the targets of violence were the Raghunath 
as well as the Gautam Nag mandirs and the triple temple of Lok Bhawan. The Wan- 
poh mandir which had been almost completely demolished in 1986, was again des- 
ecrated on 21st February, 1992. The Mattan mandir was instantly converted into a 
Muslim shrine by namaz, being said. In all, some 70 Hindu places of worship have 
been desecrated. This list is based on the information available in Kashmir: Wail 
of a Valley. The list is given in Appendix I that follows this chapter. 


Hindu Masjids 

Another list of 46 desecrations which were perpetrated during 1986 or before is 
given in Appendix H. It is important to note that many of the temples which we 
have listed in Appendices I and II, were attacked long before the Babri edifice was 
demolished on December 6, 1992. Is it not surprising that hardly any protest was 
made or heard while these demolitions were taking place? Is it not even more 
amazing how much noise was made and continues to be made over a single edifice 
at Ayodhya? Evidently, a sense of proportion is not our virtue. However, credit 
must be given to the popular daily Hindustan Times for what it published on 
8th July, 1985: 

There was a mass exodus of the members of minority community from the state 
of Jammu & Kashmir to other parts of the country. This was a dangerous trend 
which should be stopped. There was indeed a sinister conspiracy to throw out the 
Hindus and Sikhs from the valley so that the designs of complete Islamisation were 

Having established his bonafides, by first talking about Taslima Nasrin, the 
author has dealt with his own country, namely, the Kashmir Valley. He now pro- 
ceeds to Pakistan, where a total of 244 places of worship were destroyed after the 
Babri Masjid incident. These include one gurudwara and one church. The prov- 
incewise distribution is: Sind 134, Baluchistan 42, NWFP 7 and the Punjab 61 . The 
names and the locations of some places of worship desecrated are listed in Appen- 
dix III. 

A slaughter house now operates from the site where once there was a Gurudwara 
at Ratan Tata Road, Karachi. The Gurudwara was reportedly destroyed long ago. 

Coming back to Bangladesh, according to Ms Taslima Nasrin, 62 temples were 
destroyed in 1990, a clean two years before and not after the Babri edifice was 
brought down. In her words: 

...they are angry when a mosque is destroyed, don 't they realize that Hindus will 
be just as angry when temples are destroyed? Just because one mosque has been 
demolished must they destroy hundreds and hundreds of temples? Doesn 't Islam 
profess peace? 

On the morrow of 6th December, 1992, there was mayhem in many parts of 
Bangladesh. Quoted below is one list of the killings, damage and destruction com- 
piled by Nasrin. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


• In Golokpur, thirty Hindu women were raped. Chanchali, Sandhya, Moni... 
Nikunja Dutta had died. Bhagavati, an old lady, had been so terrified that she 
died of a heart attack. In Golokpur incidents of daylight rape were reported. 
Even women who had taken refuge in Muslim homes were being raped. 

• Fourteen hundred maunds of betel nuts belonging to Nantu Haldar were 
burnt to ashes at Das' Haat Bazaar. 

• The police magistrate and DC were mute spectators to the destruction of 
temples at Bhola city. 

• The jewellery of temples was openly looted. 

• A Hindu washermens' colony was burnt to cinders. 

• At Manikgunj, they destroyed the Lakshmi temple, the community Shiv 
temple, the goldsmith lanes of Dashara and Kalikhala and the big beverage 
and cigarette godowns of Gadadhar Pal. 

• Three truckloads of people raided the police stations at Twara, Baniajuri, 
Pukuria, Uthli, Mahadebpur, Joka and Shivalaya. 

• Three kilometres from the city, Hindu homes were looted and burnt in the 
Betila village. 

• The century old Naat mandir of Betila was attacked. 

• Jeevan Saha's home at Garpara was torched; three cowsheds were burnt to 
ashes; hundrds of mounds of paddy were lost in the flames. 

• Hindu shops at Terosree Bazaar under Ghior police station, and Hindu 
houses at Gangdubi, Baniajuri and Senpara were burnt down. At Senpara, a 
Hindu woman was raped as well. 

• The Kali temple of Pirozepur, the Debarchana Committee Kali mandir, the 
Manasha mandir, the Sheetala mandir, the Shiv mandir, the Narayan mandir, 
the Pirozepur Madanmohon Bigraha mandir, the Kali temple of Roykathi, 
the Krishnanagar Rai Rasaraj Seva Ashram, the Dumurtala Shreeguru 
Sangha ashram and mandir, the Kali temple at Suresh Saha's home in 
Dukheri Dumurtala, the Manasha mandir at Naren Saha's house in Dumur- 
tala, the Manasha mandir at the ancestral home of Ramesh Saha, the commu- 
nity Kali mandir at Dumurtala, the temples at the homes of Sucharan 
Mondal, Gouranga Haldar, Harendra Nath Saha, Narendra Nath Saha, the 
Kali temple beside the Dumurtala high school, the Ranipur Panch Devi man- 
dir, the community mandir of Hularhaat and Kartick Das' furniture shop, the 

Hindu Masjids 

Kali mandir, the Kalakhali Sanatan Ashram, the Jujkhola Gour Govinda 
Seva Ashram, the Harisabha Sanatan Dharma mandir, the Kali mandir at the 
home of Ranjit Seal, the Jujkhola community puja centre, the community 
Durga mandir near the Gabtola school, the temple in Bipin Haldar's house at 
Krishnanagar, the community Kali mandir at Namazpur, the temple and 
math at Kalikathi Biswas' home, the Lairi Kali mandir, the community tem- 
ple of Inderhaat under Swarupkathi police station, the Durga mandir at 
Kanai Biswas 1 home in Inderhaat, Nakul Saha's cinema hall, the Durga man- 
dir at Amal Guha's home, the temple at Hemanta Seal's house and the Kali 
mandir at Jadav Das' house at Mathbaria police station were all set ablaze. 

The Shiv mandir at Mistripara in Syedpur was also destroyed. 

The community temple at Rathdanga village of Narail district, the Ghona 
community mandir, the Kudulia community crematorium, Nikhil Chandra 
Dey's family mandir, Kalipada Hazra's family temple, Shivprosad Pal's 
family temple, the family temple at Dulal Chandra Chakraborty's home in 
Badon village, Krishna Chandra Laskar's family temple, the Taltala village 
community temple, the family temples of Baidyanath Saha, Sukumar Biswas 
and Pagla Biswas at Pankabila village, the community temple at Pankabila 
village, the Narayan Jiu mandir at Purbapara Daulatpur under Lohagara 
police station were all ransacked and demolished. 

Ten temples at Khulna were razed to the ground. 

Four or five temples along with houses were looted and plundered at Raduli 
in Paikpara and at Shobonadas and Baka villages. 

Two temples were destroyed in the Talimpur area under Rupsa police sta- 
tion. Hindu homes adjacent to it were also looted. 

On the night of 8th December, 1992, three temples in the Dighlia and Sen- 
hati areas were burnt down. 

A group of processionists raided thirteen homes in Sahadevpur village, Feni. 

Twenty people were injured in the Jaipur village of Chagalnaiya. 

At Langalboa village, Gobinda Prosad Roy's home was raided by two hun- 
dred people at the instigation of Moazzem Hussain. A person by the name of 
Kamal Biswas was seriously injured; it was possible he would succumb to 
his injuries. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Appendix I 

Hindu places of worship desecrated in Kashmir since 1990 

Temples at: 


Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar 




Shiva Temple, Srinagar 


Raghu Nath Mandir, Anantnag 


Gautam Nag Temple, Anantnag 


Three Temples of Lok Bhawan, Anantnag 


Shailputri Temple, Baramulla 


Wanpoh Mandir, Anantnag 


Bhairavnath Mandir, Baramulla 


Rupabhawani Mandir, Vaskura 


Bhairav Nath Temple, Sopore 


Khirbhawani Mandir, Ganderbal 


Mattan Temple, Anantnag 


Gautam Nag Hermitage 












Pattan ruins 


Kanimoja Gantamulla 


Hanumat Kund, Kupwara 


Raja Ram Mountains 


Khoja Bagh Temple, Baramulla 


Hanjivera Temple, Pattan, Baramulla 


Venkara Temple, Baramulla 


Palhalan Temple, Baramulla 


Bhairav Nath Temple, Baramulla 


Ragnya Temple, Zainpora, Kulagam 


Brari-Angan Shrine, Anantnag 


Kulavaghishwari Temple, Kulagam 


Hindu Masjids 

32. Temples, Hanand Chawalgam 

33. Manzagam Temple 

34. Temples, Mirhama 

35. Temples Arrh 

36. Temple Batsargam 

37. Kakyayani Temple, Kulagam 

38. Vaishakhi Temple, Kharbrari, Kulagam 

39. Temple, Bugam, Kulagam 

40. Temple, Dhanav, Bogund, Kulagam 

41. Temple, Wanpoh, Anantnag 

42. Temple, Ashmuji, Kulagam 

43. Temple, Divasar 

44. Temple, Khanbarni, Kulagam 

45. Nari Bharan Temple, Shopian 

46. Thakur Dwar Temple Shopian 

47. Kapalmochan Temple, Shopian 

48. Kakren Temple 

49. Temple, Mahnoor, Badgam 

50. Temple, Yechakoot, Badgam 

51. Temple Shoolipora, Badgam 

52. Temple Sangrampora, Badgam 

53. Gangajattan, Badgam 

54. Shiva Temple, Rainawari, Srinagar 

55. Ram Koul Temple, Hariparbat 

56. Ganesh Temple, Hariparbat 

57. Prayag Chinar, Shadipora 

58. Seven Temples, Rainawari, Srinagar 

59. Vaital Bhairav, Dal Lake 

60. Balak Pathshahi Temple, Srinagar 

61. Ram Temple, Khankhal Sokta, Safakadal, Srinagar 

62. Ropa Bhawani Asthapan, Khankhai Sokta, Srinagar 

63. Temple, Purushyar, Srinagar 

64. Katleshwar Temple, Srinagar 

65. Raghunath Temple, Fateh Kadal, Srinagar 

66. Swami Gopi Nath Ashram, Kharyar, Srinagar 

67. Temple, Payar 

68. Temples, Malmoh, Badgam 

69. Temple, Shalla Kadal, Kanikadal, Srinagar 

70. Pokhribal Temple, Kathidarwaza, Srinagar 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Appendix II 

Hindu places of worship desecrated in Kashmir in 1986 

Temples at: 

1 . Anantnag 

2. Gotamnag 

3. Krangsu 

4. Akura 

5. Nanil 

6. Thanisher(Akura) 

7. Ramhall 

8. Brakpora 

9. Achabal 

1 0 . No wgam(Kuthar) 

1 1 . Telwani 

12. Akingam 

13. Mohripora 

14. Sagam 

15. Batapora(Dialgam) 

16. Fatehpora 

17. Ranbirpora 

1 8. Ohpaisen 

19. Nandkisore 

20. Vanpoh 

21. Danav Bogund 

22. Chowgam 

23. Luk Bhavan 

24. Verinag 

25. Chandian Pajjan 

26. Sallar 

27. Aishmuqam 

28. Bijbehara 

29. Gund Jaffar 

30. Tral 

3 1 . Dragpura 


Hindu Masjids 

32. Baramula 

33. Seer 

34. Kawpura 

35. Bandipur 

36. Sopore 

37. JawaharNagar 

38. KaranNagar 

39. Ganpatyar 

40. Dashnami Akhara Budshah Chowk(Srinagar) 

41. Waskura 

42. Purshyar 

43. Bhairav Mandir 

44. Nawagam(Badgam) 

45. Mazhome(Badgam) 

46. Gulgam(Kupwara) 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Appendix III 

Province-wise list of some Hindu temples destroyed in Pakistan 


1 . 16 temples in Karachi 

2. Church at Keamari 


1 . Temple Liaquat Colony 

2. Colony Gurunanak Temple at Qazi Abdul Qayyum Road 

3. Two temples, Tilak Incline 

4. Temple at Miani Road 

5. Ramapeer Mandir in Tando Allahyar 

6. Temple at Siroghot 


1 . Temple at Shahdadpur 

2. Temple at Sinjhoro 

3. Jholelal Mandir at Sinjhoro 

4. Shiamji Mandir at Sinjhoro 

5. Ram Peer mandir at Sinjhoro 

6. Sawai Mandir at Sinjhoro 

7. Dharamshala at Sinjhoro 

Other Districts 

1 . Temple at Hala 

2. Temple at Khairpur 

3. Temple at Jheddo (Tharparkar) 

4. Temple at Sukkur 

5. Temple at Badin 

6. Temple at Badhtaluka 

7. Temple at Rattodero 

8. Temple at Jacobabad 


Hindu Masjids 




jr • 1 rn i ni ' 1 1 1 n J 

Krishna 1 emple, bhishmanal Road 


Sheetala Mandir, Snanalam Bazaar 


Lai Mandir, Shishmahal Road 


Temple at Old Sarqi Rattan Chand 


Valmiki Temple, Bheem Street, Neela Gumbad Chowk 


m 1 T~» 111 1 T~l 

Temple near Badshahwala Bazar 



Temple at Hatha Datu Shah 


Bhagat Ram Temple, Maulana Ahmed Road 


Temple at Dev Samaj Road 


Two temples at Khaja Syed 


Jain Mandir, Old Anarkali 


Gaushala, Ravi Road 


Temple at Chowk Ghantaghar 


Temple near Muslim High School 


Temple in Street No. 11, Badami Chowk 


Temple at Sheeshganj 


Church near Lai Sale High School 



Prahlad temple in Qilla Khana 

Other Places 


Temple at Tippu Road, Shamshan Ghaat,Rawalpindi 


Temple at Chowk Road, Bahawalnagar 


1. 15 Temples at Quetta 

Shuddhi in Stone 


Other Places 


Temple at Chaman 


Temple at Harni(Ziarat) 


Temple at Dayar 


Temple at Kalat 


Temple at Nasirabad (Sibi) 


Temple at Mastung 


Temple at Loralai 


Temple at Khuzdar 


Temple at Uthal 




3 Temples 

Other Places 


Temple in Mingora 


Temple at Khwaja Khela 


Temple at Chingalai 


Temple at Bannu 

5. One Gurudwara at Padeshawar 

20 American Professor on Temple Desecration 

Richard M. Eaton, Professor of History, 
University of Arizona has listed 80 temple 
desecrations and has charted them on three 

The second myth about temple desecrations is that a few Hindu scholars like Pro- 
fessors Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel have exaggerated their incidence. The 
truth is that iconoclasm was an integral aspect for long periods in the medieval his- 
tory of India. The original sources of information are nearly all contemporary Mus- 
lim chroniclers who wrote in Arabic or Persian. Inumerable Muslim sources and 
their prolific records are proof that the badshahs as well as Muslim elite considered 
desecrations to be important enough to be recorded at such length. 

A number of chroniclers have described with exhilaration the desecrations in 
their time indicating satisfaction at the service performed for the sake of Allah. One 
of the last Islamic scholars to have commented gleefully on temple desecration was 
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan 47 who founded Aligarh Muslim University in his well 
known treatise called Asaru 's Sanadid. Yet another modem luminary to have writ- 
ten with pride was Maulana Hakim Sayed Abdul Hai 48 (affectionately called Abdul 
Hai), Rector, Daurul-Ulum Nadwatul-Ulama at Deoband. 

After their arrival in India in the 18th and 19th centuries, British scholars also 
took interest in the subject of temple desecration. For purposes of research, they 
used medieval chroniclers. In addition to the invaluable information they were able 
to dig up, they added their knowledge by personal surveys of the sites where dese- 
crations had taken place. An outstanding surveyor was Lt. Gen. Sir Alexander Cun- 
ningham, 49 the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


The fact that medieval Islamic chroniclers as well as British historians took so 
much interest, is evidence enough of the historic importance of temple desecration 
Medieval scholars presumably were gratified at the damage that their invading 
patrons were able to inflict on a non-Muslim civilisation. They considered faith as 
the bedrock of Hindu civilisation. The destruction of a temple would help in crack- 
ing the bedrock and thus make it easier for conversion of Hindus into Muslims; 
progress towards the esablishment of Darul Islam. British historians were critical 
of this destructive aggression and lamented particularly the attempted obliteration 
of many a beautiful temple. 

Uncannily, most modem Indian historians have ignored medieval Islamic chron- 
iclers as well as British archaeologists. The result has been that few history books 
carry the tragic saga of temple desecration. This mischief of silence has, in turn, 
given the impression that isolated Hindu scholars are the only ones who have made 
a hue and cry about mandirs having been damaged or destroyed by Muslims. In the 
following pages are given three maps drawn by Professor Eaton 50 alongwith his list 
of 80 temples and a bibliography of his sources. These are taken from his Essays 
on Islam and Indian History, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2000. 


Hindu Masjids 

Indian Ocean 

A) Temple desecrations, 1 192-1394, imperialism of the Delhi Sultanate 
(See table at the end of the chapter) 

(Courtesy Oxford University Press, Delhi: Richard M. Eaton: Essays on Islam and Indian Histoiy, 

i in Stone 


Indian Ocean 

B) Temple desecrations, 1394-1600, the growth of regional sultanates 
(See table at the end of the chapter) 

?nnnf eSy ° Xf ° rd University Press ' Delhi: Richard M - Eaton: Essays on Islam and Indian History, 


Hindu Masjids 

Indian Ocean 

C) Temple desecrations, 1600-1760, expansion and reassertions of Mughal authority 
(See table at the end of the chapter) 

(Courtesy Oxford University Press, Delhi: Richard M. Eaton: Essays on Islam and Indian History, 

Shuddhi in 











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1 . Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica. 

2. Epigraphia Indica, Arabic & Persian Supplement. 

3 . Annual Report of Indian Epigraphy. 

4 . Indian A n tiquary. 

5. Jahangir, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, tr. A. Rogers, (Delhi, 1968), v. 1. 

6. Firishta, Tarikh-i-Firishta, tr. J. Briggs, History of the Rise of the Mahomedan 
Power in India (Calcutta, 1 97 1 ). 

7. Kanbo, Amal-i 'Salih (text: Lahore, 1967), v. 2. 

8. A. Butterworth and V.V. Chetty. A Collection of the Inscriptions on Cop- 
per-Plates & Stones in the Nellore District (Madras, 1905), v. 3. 

9. Khafi Khan, Khafi Khans History ofAlamgir, tr. S.M. Haq (Karachi, 1 975). 

10. A. Cunningham, Four Reports made during 1862-65 (Varanasi, 1972). 

1 1 . S.N. Sinha, Subah of Allahabad under the Great Mughals (New Delhi, 1974). 

12. Saqi Must'ad Khan, Maasir-i 'Alamgiri, tr. J. Sarkar (Calcutta, 1947). 

1 3 . Saqi Must'ad Khan, Maasir-i A lamgiri (text: Calcutta, 1 87 1 ). 

14. Nizamuddin Ahmad, Tabaqat-i Akbari, tr. B. De (Calcutta, 1973). 

15. Ishwardas Nagar, Futuhat-i 'Alamgir, tr. T. Ahmad (Delhi, 1978). 

1 6. Surendranath Sen, ed. & tr., Siva Chhatrapati (Calcutta, 1 920), v. 1 . 

17. P. Sreenivasachar, ed., Corpus of Inscriptions in the Telingana Districts of 
H.E.M. the Nizam 's Dominions, pt. 2 (Hyderabad, 1 940). 

1 8. Shah Nawaz Khan, Maathir-ul-Umara, tr. H. Beveridge (Patna, 1 979), v. 1 . 

1 9. Z. A. Desai, Published Muslim Inscriptions of Rajasthan (Jaipur, 1 97 1 ). 

20. G. Roerich, tr., Biography of Dharmaswamin (Patna, 1959). 

2 1 . Minhaj-i Siraj, Tabakat-i Nasiri, tr. H. Raverty (New Delhi, 1 970), v. 1 . 

22. Chattopadhyaya, D., ed., Taranatha 's History of Buddhism in India (Calcutta, 

23. Hasan Nizami, Taj al-ma 'athir, in Elliot & Dowson, History, v.2. 

24. Amir Khusrau, Mifah al-futuh, in Elliot & Dowson, History, v.3. 

25. Amir Khusrau, Khaza 'in al-futuh, in Elliot & Dowson, History, v.3. 

26. Shams-i Siraj, Tarikh-i Firuz Shahi, in Elliot <& Dowson, History, v.3. 

Shuddhi in Stone 


27. Zia al-Din Barani, Tarikh-i Firuz Shahi, in Elliot & Dowson, History, v.3 . 

28. Khwajah Ni'mat Allah, Tarikh-i Khan-jahani wa makhzan-i-Afghani (text- 
Dacca, 1960), v. 1. 

29. Sikstndar bin Muhammad, Mirat-i Sikandari, in E.C. Bayley, Local Muham- 
madan Dynasties: Gujarat, ed. N. Singh (repr. New Delhi, 1970). 

30. Azad al-Husaini, Nau-Bahar-i Murshid Quli Khani, tr., Jadu Nath Sarkar, Ben- 
gal Nawabs (1952, reps. Calcutta, 1985). 

3 1 . ' Abd al-Hamid Lahori, Badshab-nama, in Elliot & Dowson, History, v.7. 

32. South Indian Inscriptions (New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India). 

33. George Michell, 'City as Cosmogram, 1 South Asian Studies (1992). 

34. Jonaraja, Rajatarangini, ed. SX. Sadhu, trans. J.C. Dutt (repr. New Delhi 

35. Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui, tr., Waqi'at-e-Mushtaqui of Shaikh Rizq Ullah Mush- 
taqui (New Delhi, 1993). 

Sarkar, Life ofMirJumla (Calcutta, 1952). 

Hindu Masjidi 


Ill Anti-Hindu Hindus 

After the partition of India in 1 947, it should not have been difficult to bridge the 
gulf between Hindus and Muslims, if only there were not many anti-Hindu Hindus. 
It is they who nurture Muslim bigots and justify their wayward conduct. Remember 
that there is a paucity of non-clerical leadership amongst the Muslims. That vacuum 
in leadership is filled by anti-Hindu Hindus. It is difficult to think of their motivation 
other than emotional masochism. Which is rather like a psycho-sexual disorder in 
which an erotic release is achieved through having pain inflicted on oneself. 

Dr Ram Manohar Lohia put it differently in "The Guilty Men of India 's Parti- 
tion'*: It is one thing not to acknowledge the rape of one 's mother, it is quite another 
to refuse to accept the result. While the Muslim erred in acknowledging both the 
rape and its results, the Hindu should be faulted for refusing to acknowledge either. 

Evidently, anti-Hindu Hindus derive satisfaction by inflicting humiliation upon 
their own community. Or else, how does one explain the phenomenon of journalist 
Kuldip Nayar, who had to run away to India from his home in Lahore in the wake 
of partition. Yet he writes and speaks for Pakistan day in and day out. On the floor 
of Parliament in December 1999, he said that it is but natural that the Pakistani ISI 
should terrorise Hindus in Jammu, because Indian RAW instigates agitations in 
Karachi. Why does Mr. Nayar not go back to his beloved home in Pakistan? 

The intention is not to focus on any one person. There is a galaxy of groups and 
individuals who have held anti-Hindu views ranging from the communists to Jawa- 
harlal Nehru to Mohandas Gandhi. There are intellectuals like Ms Romila Thapar, 
Gargi Chakravartty, Harbans Mukhia, Bipan Chandra and N.E. Balaram whose 
views make even more rabid reading. In a democratic society, every citizen is free 
to hold his opinions but no responsible person should twist facts to back up his 

Photograph by N. Thiagarajan 

21 Ghazni and Nehru 

Did Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru downplay 
Sultan Mahmud 's atrocities out of fear? Or, 
was it to please his Muslim friends? 

The plunder of Somnath by Mahmud Ghazni in 1030 AD is known across the coun- 
try. But except for some interested scholars, few know what historian Muhammad 
Nazmr 51 had to say: 

The destruction of the temple of Somnath was looked upon as the crowning glory 
of Islam over idolatry, and Sultan Mahmud as the champion of the Faith, received 
the applause of all in the Muslim world. One poet outdid another in extolling the 
iconoclasm of Mahmud. Shykh Faridu 'd Din Attar said that the Sultan preferred to 
be an idol breaker rather than an idol seller. While rejecting the offer of the Hindus 
to ransom the idol of Somnath with its weight in gold, Mahmud is supposed to have 
said 'lam afraid that on the Day of Judgement when all the idolaters are brought 
into the presence of Allah, he would say : bring Adhar and Mahmud together, one 
was the idol maker, the other idol seller'. Adhar or Ezra the uncle of Abraham, 
according to the Quran, made his living by carving idols. 

On the other hand, Jawaharlal Nehru, in a speech at Panjim, now Panaji, Goa in 
1963, observed that the conflicts with Islam in north India specially were not reli- 
gious conflicts, but political conflicts of kings wanting to conquer India. Religious 
conflicts were hardly any and Islam also began to be accepted as a religion of 

The reference in the speech was a general one. Let us see what Nehru 52 wrote 
specifically about Somnath. In his letter dated 1st June, 1932 to his daughter, he 


Hindu Masjids was in Somnath that he got the most treasure. For this was one of the great 
temples, and the offerings of centuries had accumulated there. It is said that thou- 
sands of people took refuge in the temple when Mahmud approached, in the hope 
that a miracle would happen and the god they worshipped would protect them. But 
miracles seldom occur, except in the imaginations of the faithful, and the temple 
was broken and looted by Mahmud and 50,000 people perished, waiting for the 
miracle which did not happen. 

In another letter dated 26th April 1932, Nehru wrote that you will find that after 
Islam began, for many hundred years Musalmans lived in all parts of India in per- 
fect peace with their neighbours. They were welcomed when they came as traders 
and encouraged to settle down. 

In yet another letter dated 13th May, 1 932, he observed that many of the temples 
in the south even now seem to resemble citadels where people can defend them- 
selves if attacked. By implication, he meant that they proved to be provocative to 
the invaders. In the understanding of the author and that of most Hindus, a temple 
is the residence of an avataar of the paramatma and not merely a prayer hall like 
a mosque which jehadis with weapons are allowed to use. 

In the course of his writings, Nehru often quotes Al-Beruni. 53 Let us see what 
this scholar had to say about Somnath: 

The linga he raised was the stone of Somnath, for soma means the moon and 
natha means master, so that the whole word means master of the moon. The image 
was destroyed by Prince Mahmud, may God be merciful to him! AH 496. He 
ordered the upper part to be broken and the remainder to be transported to his res- 
idence, Ghazniwith all its coverings and trappings of gold, jewels, and embroi- 
dered garments. Part I of it has been thrown into the hippodrome of the town, 
together with the Cakrasvamin, an idol of bronze, that had been brought from 
Taneshar. Another part of the idol from Somnath lies before the door of the mosque 
ofGhazni, on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet. 

The works and views of Prof. Nazim as well as those of Al-Beruni leave no 
doubt that Mahmud Ghazni was driven by religious fanaticism. That greed and cru- 
elty were only accompanying motives. Why should Nehru, a Hindu and a Brahmin 
to boot, conceal the fanaticism of an invader, whose own people like these scholars 
are candid in their praise of the desecration in the cause of Allah? Surely Nehru's 
contention was anti-Hindu. 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


The uncanny paradox was also carried into Mathura. Although this city of 
Sri Krishna was devastated earlier in 1017, Nehru deals with it later than Somnath 
in the same letter to his daughter of 1st June, 1932. But first let us see what Growse 
had to say: In the middle of the city was a temple, larger and finer than the rest, to 
which neither painting nor description could do justice. Mahmud Ghazni had con- 
firmed this view in anticipation 850 years earlier. Growse quoted Mahmud as writ- 
ing: if any one wished to construct a building equal to it, he would not be able to 
do so without expending a hundred million dinars, and the work would occupy two 
hundred years, even though the most able and experienced workmen were 
employed. The city was given up to plunder for twenty days. Among the spoils are 
said to have been five great idols of pure gold with eyes of rubies and adornments 
of other precious stones, together with a vast number of smaller silver images, 
which, when broken up, formed a load for more than hundred camels. The total 
value of the spoils has been estimated at three million rupees; while the number of 
Hindus carried away into captivity exceeded 5,000. 

Inspite of this adoration, Mahmud ordered that all temples should be burnt with 
naptha and fire and levelled with the ground, wrote Growse. The contradiction may 
be explained by Mahmud' s piety or fanaticism. Allah was above all love and 
beauty. And he had to be served by destroying all and any idols or their temples. 
For there was only one God, and no idol or temple should be there to divert any 
worshipper's devotion. 

Now let us go to Nehru and his letter of 1st June, where he briefly writes about 
the city of Sri Krishna: 

Of Mathura, Mahmud has given us a glimpse, which shows us what a great city 
it was. Writing to his Governor at Ghazni, Mahmud says: There are here (at Math- 
ura) a thousand edifices as firm as the faith of the faithful; nor is it likely that this 
city has attained its present condition but at the expense of many millions of dinars, 
nor could such another be constructed under a period 200 years. This description 
of Mathura by Mahmud we read in an account given by Firdausi. Firdausi was a 
great Persian poet who lived in Mahmud 's time. 

Can any Hindu, least of all Jawaharlal Nehru, be more flippant about one of the 
holiest places which was treated in the unholiest of ways? 

22 Is A Communist Always Anti-Hindu? 

The communist is primarily anti-nationalist, secondly anti-God and tertially 
anti-Hindu. In socio-political practice, however, he as well as the communist par- 
ties sound more anti-Hindu than anything else. The reason could be that to speak 
against nationalism would give a message of being anti-nationalist and might 
imply being anti-patriotic. On the other hand, to speak against God would hurt the 
sentiments of most people including the Muslims. His purpose was therefore 
achieved by speaking up against any socio-political movement which has a Hindu 
inspiration. In India, nationalism has to be aroused around the Hindu ethos. The 
devout Muslim is a supranationalist. The Sunni, in particular, gives his supreme 
loyalty to the world ummah. 

Iran is the only country which could engage the sympathy of the Shias because 
all other Muslim countries are dominantly Sunni. In any case, Islam has a clear 
precedence over the nation. For the communist, the workers of the world are the 
ummah and the nation is looked upon as an instrument in the hands of the rich to 
exploit the poor. Appropriately, the communist anthem has been a song called 
Internationale, The result is that the supranationalist and the internationalist are 
allies after the dictum 'enemy's enemy is a friend'. Both are adversaries of nation- 
alism and, in India, of the Hindu ethos, the mainspring of the nationalist sentiment 
in the country. 

Before going further, it would be desirable to recall the track record of the com- 
munists in India during British days when one could afford to speak and work 
openly against nationalism. Go back to 9 August 1942 when Mahtama Gandhi 
called upon the British to quit India. Overstreet and Windmiller, 54 in their book 
Communism in India, University of Berkeley, 1958, wrote the CPI (Communist 
Party of India) criticised the Quit India resolution as misguided and pernicious. 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


Furthermore, Netaji Subhas and his movement were condemned as a fifth column. 
Indian socialists were described as the advance guard of the Japanese Army. 

In those days, 1942 and after, communist praise was showered on the Muslim 
League. An example of such appreciation in the words of the CPI Central Commit- 
tee member Sajjad Zaheer was: 7/ is a good and fine thing, a happy augury, for 
Indian Muslims and for India as a whole that the Muslim League continues to grow 
and gather around it millions of our liberty-loving people. In the increasing 
strength and capacity of the League to move the Muslim masses on the path of 
progress and democracy lies the salvation of millions of our Muslim countrymen... 
By mid- 1942, the Party was expressly committed to the general view that India was 
a multinational entity, and that the unqualified right of self-determination should 
be granted to each nationality. A Party statement of July asked: What can be the 
basis of our national unity? Recognition of the principles of self-determination 
including the right of separation, for all the nationalities that inhabit our great 

A resolution of the September plenary meeting of the Central Committee defin- 
itively outlined the Party's new orientation. Its critical passage was as follows: 
Every section of the Indian people which has a contiguous territory as its home- 
land, common historical tradition, common language, culture, psychological 
make-up, and common economic life would be recognized as a distinct nationality 
with the right to exist as an autonomous state within the free Indian Union or fed- 
eration and will have the right to secede from it if it may so desire ... Thus free India 
of tomorrow would be a federation or union of autonomous states of the various 
nationalities such as the Pathans, Western Punjabis (dominantly Muslims), Sikhs, 
Sindhis, Hindustanis, Rajasthanis, Gujeratis, Bengalis, Assamese, Beharies, Ori- 
yas, Andhras, Tamils, Karnatikis, Maharashtrians, Keralas, etc. 

The two scholars continued: the resolution made it abundantly clear that those 
nationalities which were predominantly Muslim could secede. This would give to 
the Muslims wherever they are in an overwhelming majority in a contiguous terri- 
tory which is their homeland, the right to form their autonomous states and even to 
separate if they so desire. A year later, the Party was openly supporting Pakistan, 
and Zaheer said that Congressmen generally fail to see the anti-imperialist, libera- 
tionist role of the Muslim League, failed to see that the demand for Muslim 
self-determination or Pakistan is a just, progressive and national demand, and is the 
positive expression of the very freedom and democracy for which Congressmen 
have striven and undergone so much suffering all these years. 


Hindu Masjids 

The Californian authors wondered what could have prompted the CPI to be so 
openly pro-Muslim, so pro-Pakistani? One explanation they gave was that the pol- 
icy may have been prompted in part by an intention to encourage not Muslim sep- 
aratism alone but all regional particularism throughout the subcontinent. The 
regional linguistic units of India, which no one but the CPI termed as nationalities, 
had in many cases shown strong particularist impulses on which a political party 
might easily capitalize. At this point the CPI may have dimly recognized that the 
time had come, in the political development of India, to associate itself with these 
impulses, as it had earlier associated itself with the nationalist impulse. Bourgeois 
nationalism was on the verge of achieving freedom and establishing an independent 
state; in preparation for its struggle against that state, the CPI could have no better 
weapon than regional separation, which could weaken or even destroy a bourgeois 
government in New Delhi. At one stage the Party openly proposed that Bengal be 
a sovereign country, in addition to India and Pakistan. It also hinted at independent 
status for the Sikhs. But it was only after the war that this larger import of the 
Party's policy - its identification with regional particularism - emerged fully. 

The CPI's anti-Indianism did not end with supporting the multiple partition of 
India. In 1944, General Secretary P.C.Joshi wrote articles wherein he advocated 
not only the creation of Pakistan but also an undivided sovereign Bengal. As the 
scholars from California have written: In Bengal as a whole the majority of the 
population was Muslim but only by a slight margin, the eastern and northern dis- 
tricts being pre-dominantly Muslim while the others were predominantly Hindu. 
Earlier, the Party had proposed that Bengal be partitioned accordingly, but the 
League demanded that Bengal go to Pakistan. Now Joshi declared that Bengal 
should be a united sovereign and independent state, which would maintain rela- 
tions of mutual assistance and friendly economic collaboration with both India and 
Pakistan. This solution was clearly advantageous to the League since it would 
again thus gain influence over all of Bengal rather than over the Muslim-majority 
districts only. In fact, the new state would probably make common cause with Paki- 
stan, which was not mentioned by Joshi. 

The anti-Hindu real politik of the CPI had no limit. To quote again from the 
same book: With regard to the other disputed area, the six eastern districts of Pun- 
jab (Central Punjab), Joshi proposed a solution which was equally advantageous 
to the Muslim League. In all the disputed districts the Sikhs constituted a large 
minority, and in all but one the Sikhs and Hindus together formed a majority; in 
but one were the Muslims in the majority, and that by only a small margin. Yet 
Joshi declared that the best solution would be to give all six districts to Pakistan, 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


adding the suggestion that there be a "Muslim-Sikh Pact" which would guarantee 
the rights of the Sikhs under a Muslim government The Sikhs have nothing to fear, 
he declared. 

This polictical behaviour is ironical when one remembers that conceptually the 
Hindu explanation of life borders on the agnostic whereas Islam asserts that there 
is god and Allah as the one and only god. To assert that there is god is to rely 
entirely on faith, if not also conjecture. Sticklers might even describe this attitude 
as irrational. Mind you, the Marxists are equally irrational in their insistence that 
there is no god and therefore they are atheists. Without having been able to verify, 
to assert the existence or non-existence of god is equally irrational. 

In contrast, the Hindu explanation has no concept of god; only of paramatma or 
the total of all individual souls. To that extent all the living beings are partners of 
the divine. The so called Hindu godheads like Sri Ram, Sri Krishna or Lord Buddha 
were avataars or men who returned to earth to redeem the quality of human life 
which had declined at the time. They are called godheads at the level of bhakti or 
devotion by the average person. In fact, sanatan dharma is agnostic; there is neither 
an assertion nor a denial of there being god. The Buddhist and Jain explanations 
confirm this view more categorically. Is that not so much more rational than the 
insistence that there in no god? 

It is therefore not surprising that the Hindu is not averse to recognising the con- 
tribution of Marx to human thought. Also the considerable work Lenin did for the 
poor. More than anyone else, it was he who made the world realise that the poor 
also have a right, an equal right, in society. It was only after the Russian revolution, 
which he led, that Europe and America became conscious of the welfare of the poor 
and, as it happened, overtook communist societies in making the poor less poor, if 
not also rich. 

That however does not justify the hypocrisy of most communists. Say a family 
name is Chatterjee which is the modernised version of Chattopadhyaya which in 
turn is the Bengali version of Chaturvedi. Or he whose family has studied the four 
vedas. Doesn't that sound very Hindu, if not also Brahmin and sanatan? Say the 
first name is Sita Ram. That is even more emphatically Hindu. Do not underrate the 
value of a name. It is a brand equity. It is among the first things a family gives a 
baby soon after its birth. Without it, the baby would not have an identity. How can 
one carry the identity of Sita Ram Chatterjee and at the same time spend his time 
running down the Hindu ethos as communal, revivalist, obscurantist and what not? 
What incidentally does he declare on the passport for his religion? 

23 Are Some Intellectuals Perverse? 

The author and his colleagues were discussing issues between the two major com- 
munities in India. The conversation was progressing smoothly when a leftist friend, 
Sitaram Ghoshal, appeared and hijacked the discussion towards autonomy in Kash- 
mir. Was it not desirable that a nationalist, and a valley Muslim could see eye to 
eye on several issues? On some others they were going to agree to disagree. Yet 
with the entry of Ghoshal, the dialogue snapped. He was hell bent on giving the val- 
ley complete autonomy except for two or three subjects. Little did he seem to real- 
ise that he was falling straight into the Pakistani trap. What, they claim, they 
wanted was self-determination for the Kashmiris. 

If you hear the leftists uncritically, they sound so sweet and reasonable. After 
all, they are only pleading for the will of the Kashmiris to be allowed a free run. 
The Pakistanis themselves, as it were, were looking for nothing. Little did it dawn 
on Ghoshal that in case autonomy was granted, the next step would be the opening 
of the Line of Control (LoC) due to the supposed demand of the people of the two 
sides of the line to meet and mingle. There would then be a loud outcry for amal- 
gamation between Pakistan occupied Kashmir and the Valley. Islamabad would be 
pleased. What would New Delhi or Srinagar say or do at that stage? The next step 
would be an orchestrated public outcry for the status of a protectorate under Paki- 

The author cannot help but share with the reader what he has come across 
recently. Ms Romila Thapar has written: 

Mahmud of Ghazni is primarily associated in most standard histories as the 
despoiler of temples and the breaker of idols. The explanation for this activity is 
readily provided by the fact that he was a Muslim - the assumption being that only 
a Muslim would despoil temples and break idols since the Islamic religion is 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


opposed to idol worship. There is the further assumption in this that all Muslim rul- 
ers could be potential idol-breakers unless some other factors prevented them from 
doing so. Little attempt is made to search for further explanations regarding Mah- 
mud 's behaviour. Other reasons can be found when one turns to the tradition of 
Hindu kings and enquire whether any of them were despoilers of temples and 

That Mahmud Ghazni was both an idol breaker and a robber is confirmed by 
Ms Thapar herself. By providing further explanations regarding Mahmud' s behav- 
iour, she has alleged that he was a robber and not primarily an idol breaker. The 
iconoclast had an ulterior motive. Later on she goes on to allege that King Harsh 
Vardhan also used to desecrate temples in order to appropriate wealth. The author 
wonders what relationship Ms Thapar had with Mahmud Ghazni, that she should 
take such extraordinary pains to ostensibly defend his crimes. The author would 
not defend him even if he was his own blood brother. 

Here is how a fellow Muslim praises Mahmud Ghazni. Prof. Muhammad 
Nazim 56 has observed: the destruction of the temple of Somnath was looked upon 
as the crowning glory of Islam over idolatry, and Sultan Mahmud as the champion 
of the Faith, received the applause of all the Muslim world. One poet has outdone 
another in extolling the iconoclasm of Mahmud. Shykh Faridu 'd Din Attar said 
that the Sultan preferred to be an idol breaker rather than an idol seller. While 
rejecting the offer of the Hindus to ransom the idol of Somnath with its weight in 
gold, Mahmud is supposed to have said I am afraid that on the Day of Judgement 
when all the idolaters are brought into the presence of Allah He would say: bring 
Adhar and Mahmud together, one was idol maker, the other idol breaker. Adhar or 
Ezra, the uncle of Abraham, according to the Quran, made his living by carving 
idols. The former would go to heaven while the latter be condemned to hell. 

If nothing else, one cannot help contrasting the forthrightness of Nazim and the 
perversion of Thapar. 

In Gargi Chakravartty, 57 we have another lady, also sold on the good intentions 
of Mahmud Ghazni. She has said: Mahmud of Ghazni's activities on this score 
have built a negative impression about the role of Muslims in general. But he was 
not a religious fanatic which is amply proved from the fact that he never forced the 
people whom he looted to accept the creed, which they did not believe. A piece of 
historical information is important to note in this context: His Indian soldiers were 
free to blow sankh and bow before their idols in imperial Ghazni. 


Hindu Masjids 

Her sympathy was not confined to Mahmud Ghazni but extended much beyond. 
She did not even ignore Timur Lang. She justified the barbaric massacre by the 
Muslim invaders with the argument that they were equally cruel to the Muslim peo- 
ple of Central Asia. To quote her: 

Muslim invaders are being accused of being fanatic and barbaric towards the 
Hindus, leaving a trail of destruction of Hindu temples, of plunder and loot. Some 
of the invaders were no doubt plunderers and their sole obsession was loot and 
plunder of the invaded land, no matter what the faith of those who inhabited it. For 
example, Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghor and Timur of Samarkand in 
their unchecked barbarism massacred the Muslim masses and rulers too of Central 
Asia. The history writers of the Sangh Parivar evade this very important fact ofhis- 
toiy. The principal objective of those plunderers was to enrich their treasury. When 
they invaded India there was hardly any Muslim population in those areas. Had 
there been, they too would not have been spared, as is proved by the fact that peo- 
ple of the whole Central Asia who were their coreligionists were not spared from 
their brutal atrocities. The intensity of their barbarism in Central Asia was no less 
than in North India. In fact Timur was more cruel in Central Asia on its Muslim 
population than what he did in India. At a later period plunderers like Nadirshah 
and Ahmedshah Abdali massacred Muslims as well. 

The same book by People's Publishing House is embellished with the contribu- 
tion of another apologist of the Muslim iconoclast. In his essay, Harbans Mukhia 58 
says: Interestingly the orthodox Hindu historians today revel no less in describing 
with great fanfare the temples demolished by the sultans than the orthodox Muslim 
contemporary historians did in their own time. It is obvious that the demolition of 
temples could not have been meant for winning over the Hindus to Islam. For, how 
can one imagine that the way of winning over the heart of a people is to go and 
demolish its temples? The demolition could at best have created a hatred, if any- 
thing, certainly not love, for Islam in the hearts of the Hindu subjects. Therefore it 
could not have been meant for converting them, but for some other objective. It is 
significant that generally the temples are demolished only in the territory of an 
enemy; they are not demolished within the sultan 's own empire, unless the temples 
became centres of a conspiracy or a rebellion against the state as they did during 
Aurangzeb 's reign. Thus the demolition of temples in enemy-territory was symbolic 
of conquest by the sultan. 

The author has come across another Hindu historian who delights in describing 
temple demolition by the Sultan. Many a writer does complain but no Hindu feels 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


happy. An anti-Hindu like Mukhia may well do so. Who has ever told him that 
Muslim invaders and many of the rulers provoked the hatred of Hindus? Most Hin- 
dus might not carry hatred on their lips, but in their heart of hearts make no mistake, 
most Hindus hate Muslims. 

Vrindavan was very much a part of Aurangzeb's empire. Can Mukhia tell us 
who in that temple town, which is dedicated to Krishna, conspired or rebelled 
against the empire which provoked Aurangzeb to have Gobind Dev mandir cut into 
half and build a mehrab on the roof of the lower portion? According to an article 
in the Calcutta Review quoted by Growse: Aurangzeb had often remarked about a 
very bright light shining in the far distant south east horizon and in reply to his 
enquiries regarding it, was told that it was a light burning in a temple of great 
wealth and magnificence at Vrindavan. He accordingly resolved that it should be 
put out and soon after sent some troops to the place who plundered and threw down 
as much of the temple as they could and then erected on the top of the ruins a 
mosque wall where, in order to complete the desecration, the emperor is said to 
have offered his prayers. 

Yet another distinguished historian Bipin Chandra, in his essay published in the 
same book has pleaded for downgrading our national leaders. In his words: 

We live in cliches so far as Raja Ram Mohan Roy r Swami Dayananda, 
Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Lokamanya Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Gandhi and others 
are concerned. It has become a tradition with our mass media, school text-books, 
All India Radio, etc. to uncritically praise them. Consequently, the communalists, 
and others can exploit their negative features. We never tell the people, especially 
the young, that these great men, being men, had imperfect understanding and also 
imperfect actions. 

The hero-myths-all of the major heroes: Rana Pratap, Shivaji and Guru Gobind 
Singh, belonged to medieval India and had fought against Mughal authority - have 
done as much to underline secularism and national integration as any other ideo- 
logical factor. At one stroke, and in a sort of immanent fashion, these hero-myths 
proved the case for the two-nation theory or the basic communal approach. By 
what definition are they 'national ' heroes struggle and their struggle 'national '? 
Because they were fighting against foreigners? How were the Mughals foreigners? 
Because they were Muslims. What was the uniting principle in the 'nationalism ' of 
Rana Pratap, Shivaji and Guru Gobind Singh? Their being Hindus or non- 
Muslims. Thus, the hero-myths spontaneously generated communalism. 


Hindu Masjids 

Not satisfied by denigrating national leaders by a step or two, Bipin Chandra 
proceeds to attack the luminaries of the medieval period. He blames Rana Pratap, 
Shivaji and Guru Gobind Singh for the two-nation theory that emerged during the 
middle of the 20th century. How objective or fair Chandra was, is best left to the 
reader to decide. 

N.E. Balaram 59 writing on Hindutva has propounded an unusual thesis. In his 
words: Any careful examination will show that there were no Hindu and Muslim 
labels till the thirteenth century. They were two different faiths and they did not 
quarrel. The term Hindu was used by the Muslim rulers in early days to denote the 
zamindars, landlords and the Brahmin priests. The common people were not 
referred to as Hindus. Officers under the Delhi Sultanate in 14th century AD called 
the zamindars Hindus to denote more their aristocracy than their religion. Zia 
Barani, a historian of the period in his book Fatwa-i-Jahandari uses the term 
Hindu in several places, mostly to desirable zamindars. The Hindu-Muslim identi- 
ties came only gradually. 

Perhaps Balaram is confused. It is possible that in the 13th century, Hindus did 
not quarrel with the Muslims for the simple reason that they were the traumatised 
subjects. They had been conquered by the sword of Islam and they harboured feel- 
ings of hatred for what had been done to them and their mandirs. 

In the 20th century, it is true that in the USA all Indians from the subcontinent 
were described as Hindu; Hindu-Hindus, Hindu-Muslims, Hindu-Christians, 
Hindu-Parsis and even Hindu-Jews. The word 'Hindu' was synonymous with 
Indian for the simple reason that in America an Indian was the Red Indian. Even in 
Spain today, all Indians are identified as Hindu for the same reason as in the USA. 

During the author's visit to China in April 200 1 , no Chinese that his family came 
across registered what they meant when they said they were Indians. Thereafter 
they spontaneously asked the Indian team whether we meant that we were 
Hindu.The author does not think that any of the Chinese had our religion on their 
mind when they asked this question. 

24 Are Some Eminent Indians Anti-Hindu ? 

The toxin afflicting some Hindus that makes them anti-Hindu can be seen at vari- 
ous levels of the intelligentsia. Let us look at what our Nobel laureate Amartya 
Sen 60 has felt and expressed. The author realises that he is a champion of what he 
considers to be secularism. The author is not sure which definition of the word he 
might choose if he was pressed. Whether the Indian idea of equality among faiths 
or the Marxist conception of abolishing worship? Or, would he believe in the medi- 
eval European definition of the concept of secularism? It represents the separation 
of the church from the state. Or, in simple terms, the opposite of theocracy? What- 
ever be Sen's choice, the fact is that since being awarded the Nobel prize, the 
author has read again and again in the press Sen's criticism of what he has termed 
as Hindu fundamentalists. In his inaugural address at the Indian History Congress 
held in Calcutta University in January 2001, he said: 

This is especially so if the writing of history is manoeuvred to suit a slanted 
agenda in contemporary politics. There are organised attempts in our country, at 
this time, to do just that, with arbitrary augmentation of a narrowly sectarian view 
of India 's past, along with undermining its magnificently multireligious and heter- 
odox history. Among other distortions, there is also a systematic confounding here 
of mythology with history. An extraordinary example of this has been the interpre- 
tation of the Ramayana, not as a great epic, but as documentary history, which can 
be invoked to establish property rights over places and sites possessed and owned 
by others. The Ramayana, which Rabindranath Tagore had seen as a wonderful 
legend (the story of the Ramayana is to be interpreted, as Tagore put it, not as a 
matter of historical fact but in the plane of ideas) and in fact as a marvellous par- 
able of "reconciliation, " is now made into a legally authentic account that gives 
some members of one community an alleged entitlement to particular sites and 
land, amounting to a license to tear down the religious places of other communi- 
ties. Thomas de Quincey has an interesting essay called "Murder Considered as 


Hindu Masjids 

One of the Fine Arts. " Rewriting of history for bellicose use can also, presumably, 
be a very fine art. 

The Nobel laureate has evidently, strayed into unknown territory. He has con- 
demned the Hindu claim to the site where stood the Babri edifice. Does he know 
how many mandirs were summarily converted into masjids and dargahs especially 
between the time Muhammad Ghauri installed Qutbuddin Aibak on the throne of 
Delhi at the end of the 12th century and the advent of the Lodis during the middle 
of the 1 5th century? Thereafter a large number were completely destroyed and on 
some of the sites, masjids were designed afresh but built with the rubble of the des- 
ecrated mandirs. 

These contentions are not the author's but their desecrations have been recorded 
at great length by archaeologists and architectural surveyors of the stature of Cun- 
ningham and Fergusson. The former has left behind 23 volumes of his survey 
reports. Why is it that none of this material nor any of the evidence contained 
therein finds a place in our history books? Is the author to understand that accord- 
ing to Sen it was legitimate for anti-Hindus to distort history, but for Hindus to 
rewrite history and include what was left out amounting to scholastic distortion? 

The Nobel laureate is a philosopher and an economist, but his scholarship in his- 
tory is not widely known. His foray into the unknown is therefore not difficult to 
forgive. Dr Sarvapalli Gopai, 61 on the other hand, has for long years been consid- 
ered a prima donna among historians in India. He has made several interesting 
points. For example, he has described the controversy over the Babri edifice as con- 
trived in recent times having no historical basis. He goes on: The identification of 
present day Ayodhya with Ramjanmabhumi is a matter of faith and not of evidence. 
There is again no conclusive proof that the mosque built at the time ofBabur was 
on a temple site or that a temple had been destroyed to build it. 

What appears to be intellectually strange is that Gopal rejects the evidence of 
visitors to Ayodhya. Even a German visitor called Tieffenthaler's opinion is 
rejected as based on a rather garbled version of a local story. He then proceeds to 
run down the opinion of British individuals. To quote: British officials and writers 
began to give wide circulation and lend authority to the story that on Babur's 
orders a temple had been destroyed and a mosque built on the site. This fitted in 
with the British understanding of India. Later in the paragraph, Gopal offers a 
corny defence of the foreign iconoclast in the words: Muslim rulers in India often 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


acted on non-religious grounds and, like all rulers everywhere, were primarily 
interested in the maintenance of their political power. 

In the following paragraph, he tries to divert attention by quoting an economic 
historian, Amiya Bagchi, whose essay in the book stated that the phenomenon of 
communalism had an economic basis. How this discovery of Bagchi helps Gopal 
to assure himself that the Babri edifice was built on land that was rightfully of Mus- 
lim ownership is beyond understanding. He continues to swing in a non-relevant 
orbit by making statements such as: considering that the main attack on secular 
objectives in free India has come from the ranks of Hindu bigotry, it is worth men- 
tioning that the teachings of Hinduism, at their best are in full accordance with 
such secular practices ....It is a religion without circumference. 

Not satisfied with the effect of his argument, Gopal finally resorts to quoting his- 
torian Romila Thapar whose anti-Hindu views are legend. She felt: Our media 
today is replete with myth wearing the mask of history and myth carefully chosen 
to project particular obscurantist versions that help to glorify aggressive funda- 
mentalism. The television versions of Ramayana and the Mahabharata and, in 
sharp contrast, the failure to present a serious and nonpartisan discussion of the 
Ramjanmabhumi issue, have all contributed to the heightened excitement which 
has led to the recent increase in communal rioting, with over a thousand Muslims 
killed in the last few months. 

The author would have hesitated to call the lady anti-Hindu, had it not been for 
the bankruptcy of her reasoning and the profligacy of her prejudice. How can a 
thousand Muslims be killed merely because the great epics of Ramayana and 
Mahabharata were serialised on television? There were no Muslims or, in fact, no 
non-Hindus in India at the time when the epics were written. In any case the author 
has watched many episodes and found nothing provocative in any of them. Thapar 
needs to be reminded that these epics were written centuries before the emergence 
of either Islam or even Christianity. 

Quoting Thapar did not gratify Gopal. He therefore went on to make a sweeping 
statement on the nature of communalism. To quote: The test of success was not 
what the Hindus thought but how the Muslims and other communities felt, just as, 
while minorities might turn communal out of a sense of grievances, communalism 
of the majority community was dangerous and, masquerading as nationalism, was 
in fact a form of Fascism. There could sometimes be justification for the minorities 
to be communal, there was none for the majority. He has implied elsewhere that it 


Hindu Masjids 

was Hindu majoritarianism that led to the partition of India. It is for the followers 
of the majority to assuage the feelings of the Muslim minority. 

As far as is known in the years preceding partition, it was the Congress led by 
Mahatma Gandhi that led Hindu opinion and, above all, Jawaharlal Nehru and his 
February 1946 statement in Bombay which is alleged to have put the last nail in the 
coffin of India's oneness. Surely, even his worst detractors have never described 
Nehru as either a majoritarian or a communalist. Incidentally, has Gopal ever 
defined fascism or even come acros s an explanation of that ideology? Had he done 
so, he would have known that fascism represents class collaboration, as distinct 
from communism which symbolises class conflict and capitalism which is accused 
of causing class exploitation. Surely, a scholar of the stature of Gopal would not 
like to sit on the same bench as a lumpen leftist, who accuses almost anyone he 
hates as a fascist. 

Here is another example of an anti-Hindu Hindu. His name was Susobhan 
Sarkar 62 who was a professor of history and taught for long years at the Presidency 
College in Calcutta. He wrote: 

I shall end the discussion by drawing attention to two particular conclusions of 
Mr Majumdar. The first conclusion is that Muslim rule was a foreign rule in India 
because the Hindus were perpetually oppressed and were fully conscious of the 
fact. Even if the two 'proofs ' are admitted, the conclusion does not follow. Is there 
no room for oppression under native, as distinct from foreign, rule? In the 16th 
century, the German Anabaptists or Spanish Protestants were almost rooted out, 
the English Catholics for ages had "no rights at all in religious or social matters. " 
Were those countries under foreign rule at the time? Was the exploitation of the 
people impossible under native Hindu rule? Is interference with religion the one 
undeniable evidence of oppression and servitude? 

Muslim rule, we believe, was no alien government like the British. This means 
merely that the Indian Mussalmans had no other country of their own; they did not 
send their plunder abroad; the policy of Muslim rulers was not governed by the 
interests of any foreign country; a large part of the inhabitants of the land were the 
coreligionists of the kings. Though of foreign origin, the Muslim leaders very soon 
had no other country of their own. True, Islam arose outside India and had univer- 
sal pretensions - but then no one would hold that under medieval Christianity with 
similar characteristics the peoples of Europe lived under foreign rule. The equa- 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


tion - Hindu culture = Indian culture - is nothing more than the expression of a 
particular judgement and point of view. 

Dr Majumdar's second conclusion is that: 

...the Hindu-Muslim antagonism in India "was perpetual, " that Jinnah 's "two 
nations theory " is nearer historical truth than any amity "between the two commu- 
nities. " There is no point in denying Hindu-Muslim differences. But are the two 
terms, difference and antagonism, coterminous? It is obviously true that because 
of the differences conflicts often did break out. But how can one hold that conflict 
was here the only truth? In certain reigns, or particular regions, conflicts did flare 
up; but at other times, or elsewhere, conflict would die down. Is this not the more 
correct picture of things? Even in those days it was also quite possible and natural 
that, in spite of the differences, antagonism would be submerged in many matters 
under the pressure of common economic interests. If we come across such 
instances in medieval times, surely it would not be improper today to lay some 
emphasis on such trends. The totality of historical events everywhere does reveal 
a quantum of mutual strife and the quest after petty interests. Surely this does not 
prevent us from holding up to view the brighter aspect of old societies. In other 
words, here also we cannot avoid the evaluation of events and the influence of 
associated points of view. To deny the HinduMuslim differences is tantamount to a 
denial of facts; but to stress the instances of mutual cooperation rather than con- 
flicts is a question of historical evaluation. Of course, the historian must not invent 
events, for ignoring primary "facts" can only produce imaginative history. 

The anathema about infidels pronounced by Muslim theoreticians cannot of 
course be the final word. We have also to consider how far it was possible for Mus- 
lim rulers to enforce such theories. The outpourings of scholars must, like 
courtiers ' eulogies, be taken with a grain of salt. Who would take the denunciatory 
verses of Manusamhita, directed against Sudras and women, as literal expressions 
of state policy ? 

That is why one does demur to the protest against the festival commemorating 
Amir Khasru. The celebration must have been in honour of his literary talent; it 
must be meaningless only if such talent was non-existent. But surely we cannot 
ignore talent on the ground of militant religious zeal of the person concerned. Do 
we dismiss today the spokesmen of medieval European culture on the ground of 
their religious narrowness? Amir Khasru might have been an anti-Hindu bigot, but 
he also did write about royal treasures drenched in the tears of the subjects. 


Hindu Masjids 

Jawaharlal Nehru 63 went far ahead of even Susobhan Sarkar. While speaking on 
the future of Goa at Panjim, now Panaji, he said: The conflicts with Islam in north 
India specially were not religious conflicts, but political conflicts of kings wanting 
to conquer India. Religious conflicts were hardly any and Islam also settled down 
as a religion of India. 

If there was no religious conflict, why was it that thousands of temples were des- 
ecrated and many of them were either converted or recycled into mosques? Did 
Nehru know that there is hardly any significant mandir in north India which is older 
than 1939, when the Birla temple was inaugurated in New Delhi by Gandhiji. 
Every significant temple built before the Islamic invasion was destroyed. That 
there were many large temples which were built in ancient times can be seen by 
looking at the Quwwatul Islam mosque near Qutb Minar, Adhai Din Ka Jhopra at 
Ajmer, by visiting the Atala Devi masjid at Jaunpur, Bhojshala and the Lat masjids 
at Dhar, Bijamandal mosque at Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, and so on. 

After having himself led the Indian side for signing partition in 1947, how could 
Nehru, in 1963, make such an assertion; that religious conflicts were hardly any 
and Islam also settled down as a religion of India? Would anyone deny that the 
desire for partition was to have a Dar-ul-Islam? Nehru was reluctant to concede that 
religion was the basis of politics after having repeatedly ridiculed the idea of Mus- 
lims being a separate nation in his own writings especially in his autobiography. 

Be it Amartya Sen, be he Sarvapalli Gopal, be he Sushobhan Sarkar, none of 
these gentlemen was ever in politics. In fact, each of them was or is an academi- 
cian. To that extent, they can all be possibly excused for not being realistic. On the 
other hand, Rajmohan Gandhi 64 has the distinction of the blood of the Mahatma as 
well as Chakravarti Rajagopalachari flowing in his veins. Neither of these great 
men could ever be accused of being out of touch with ground realities. Yet, he con- 
tends that the average Hindu accepted the invader Muslim as his natural king 
because Bhishma Pitamah had in the Mahabharata said that the king is appointed 
by (God) Vishnu himself and he partakes of his divinity and is, therefore, to be 
obeyed. Such an extraordinary justification for accepting an invader as a legitimate 
monarch has never been articulated before. 

Gandhi proceeds to enumerate the causes of partition. One of them was the inse- 
curity experienced by the Muslims by living amongst majority Hindus. To quote: 
Fuelled by the insecurities of Muslims living amidst Hindu majorities, the drive for 
Pakistan had been led by men like Jinnah and Liaqat and by others in the Muslim 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


League who now were Muhajirs in Pakistan. If he was correct, how is it that most 
of the Muslims stayed behind in India, and evidently still prefer to be here rather 
than go across to Pakistan? When one proceeds further and comes across what 
Mahatma Gandhi thought and said on the Hindu Muslim question, one is ready to 
excuse his grand child for being naive. Read what he told his secretary, Mahadev 
Desai in 1918. Though we do say that Hindus and Muslims are brothers, I cannot 
conceive of their being brothers today... Something within tells me that Hindus and 
Muslims are going to unite as brothers one day, that there is no other course open 
to them and they have but to be brothers. If we go on remembering old scores, we 
would feel that unity is impossible but at any cost we ought to forget the past. This 
is quoted by grandson Rajmohan. 

As the president of the Khilafat movement, Gandhiji's closest associate was 
Maulana Muhammad Ali. Yet to the surprise of many, he repeated to the audience 
at Aligarh as well as Ajmer that ho wever pure Mr. Gandhi 's character may be, he 
must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman, 
even though he be without character. When asked to clarify by members of another 
audience at Aminabagh park in Lucknow, the Maulana asserted that^es, according 
to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be 
better than Mr Gandhi, as reported by Dr. B. R.Ambedkar. 65 Dissatisfied with the 
progress at trying to retain the decrepit Khalifa, who was also the Sultan of Turkey, 
on the throne, in the aftermath of his defeat in World War I, the Moplahs of Mala- 
bar area of, what is now Kerala, resorted to butchering Hindus in 1921. In the 
words of Ambedkar the blood curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Mal- 
abar against the Hindus were indescribable. To rub salt on the Hindu wounds, sev- 
eral Khilafat leaders were so misguided as to pass resolutions of congratulations 
to the Moplas on the brave fight conducted for the sake of religion. Instead of con- 
demning the Moplas, Gandhi complimented them as the brave God fearing Moplas 
who were fighting for, what they considered as, religion and in a manner which 
they considered as religious. This speaks volumes as to how far the great Mahatma 
went in sounding anti-Hindu for the sake of forgiving criminals. 

25 Ambedkar, a True Hindu 

According to Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhiji was a Hindu and an Indian, the greatest 
in many generations, and he was proud of being a Hindu and an Indian. He said 
this in a broadcast on 14th February, 1948. What the Mahatma wrote, said and did 
is widely known. The track record of Babasaheb Ambedkar as a Hindu is not so 
well known. His popular image is that of a dalit leader and a constitutional guru. 
How much he felt, thought and pleaded for the interests of Hindus therefore 
deserves recounting. 

Babasaheb was one of the few Hindus, if not the only one, who foresaw the con- 
sequences of not letting Muslims have their Dar-ul-Islam. He therefore openly and 
in cold print favoured partition and in precise detail by 1940. He did this almost on 
the morrow of the resolution demanding Pakistan which was passed by the Muslim 
League at its Lahore session on 23rd March 1 940. He was clear in his view that par- 
tition without an exchange of population was worse' than partition. His reasoning 
was impeccable. To him dividing the subcontinent was to solve its communal con- 
flict. The Communal Award was given in 1932 when Ramsay MacDonald was the 
Prime Minister of Great Britain. The award gave the Muslims what they had 
demanded. Their weightage as well as their separate electorates were retained and 
in addition they were given the statutory majority of seats in the provinces in which 
they were the majority population. 

At the time there were five Muslim majority and nine Hindu majority provinces. 
Since the Hindus had nothing comparable to the Muslim League, the Congress pre- 
sumed to lead every one including the Hindus. It did not believe in separate elec- 
torates. In fact it had continually insisted on joint electorates for all communities, 
and had strongly objected to any community being given a majority of seats guar- 
anteed by the constitution. The privileges which the Muslims had been given had 
no meaning for the Congress and its followers. 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


In Ambedkar's perception, in the provinces of Punjab, North West Frontier, 
Sind, Bengal and Baluchistan, Muslim governments could treat Hindu minorities 
as they wished, knowing fully well that they need not fear retaliation in the other 
provinces as they would have secular governments. Hindu minorities in the Mus- 
lim provinces also insisted on joint electorates although the Communal Award 
ignored their feelings. It is interesting to recall what Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 
had to say as President of the Muslim League session held in Calcutta during 1 927. 
In that speech the Maulana declared: 

That by the Lucknow Pact they had sold away their interests. The Delhi proposals 
of March last opened the door for the first time to the recognition of the real rights 
of Mussalmans in India. The separate electorates granted by the Pact of 1916 only 
ensured Muslim representation, but what was vital for the existence of the commu- 
nity was the recognition of its numerical strength. Delhi opened the way to the cre- 
ation of such a state of affairs as would guarantee to them in the future of India a 
proper share. Their existing small majority in Bengal and the Punjab was only a 
census figure, but the Delhi proposals gave them for the first time jive provinces of 
which no less than three (Sind, the Frontier Province and Baluchistan) contained a 
real overwhelming Muslim majority. If the Muslims did not recognise this great step 
they were not fit to live. There would now be nine Hindu provinces against five Mus- 
lim provinces, and whatever treatment Hindus accorded in the nine provinces, Mus- 
lims would accord the same treatment to Hindus in the five provinces. Was not this 
a great gain ? Was not a new weapon gained for the assertion of Muslim rights? 

Babasaheb felt that the Communal Award meant that the Hindu minorities 
would be hostages and at the mercy of the five Muslim majority provincial govern- 
ments. This, he felt was a strong enough argument in favour of partition. The 
scheme for Pakistan had been conceived by one Rehmat Ali in 1 933 who had advo- 
cated partition. Ambedkar immediately noted that merely the formation of Pakistan 
would not ensure safety for the Hindus in Muslim majority areas. In fact, their con- 
dition might worsen, because the hostages could at least appeal to the central gov- 
ernment about their grievances whereas in Pakistan, there would be no impartial 
central government to turn to. He recalled that the Hindus in Pakistan could then 
be in the same position as the Armenians under the Turks or the Jews in Czarist 
Russia or in Nazi Germany. 

Babasaheb was perceptive enough to realise that the evil was not partition, but the 
boundaries of the provinces which did not reflect, nor were they consistent with the 
profile of Hindu Muslim populations. The boundaries had to be altered; Punjab and 
Bengal had to be bifurcated. Even then, some Hindus would get left behind in Paki- 


Hindu Masjids 

stan and many Muslims would be scattered across Hindustan. All these would then 
have to be moved in a planned manner so that Hindus and Sikhs came away to Hin- 
dustan and Muslims moved to the territory of Pakistan. This was the gist of Ambed- 
kar's formula. Nevertheless, it would be useful to quote him: that the transfer of 
minorities is the only lasting remedy for communal peace is beyond doubt. If that is 
so, there is no reason why Hindus and Muslims should keep on trading in safeguards 
which have proved so unsafe. That, if small countries with limited resources like 
Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria were capable of such an undertaking, there is no rea- 
son to suppose that what they did cannot be accomplished by Indians. After all, the 
population involved is inconsiderable and it would be a height of folly to give up a 
sure way to communal peace because some obstacles in it require to be removed. 

Babasaheb was convinced that the secret of a happy and successful state lay in 
homogeneity. That was the lesson also taught by the histories of Turkey, Greece 
and Bulgaria. Many of the countries on the map of Europe after World War I were 
given safeguards for the welfare of minorities. Their experience, however, showed 
that the safeguards did not save the minorities. The same old policy of exterminat- 
ing minorities continued. Hence an exchange of minorities was found to be about 
the only solution. 

There was another factor which caused Ambedkar a great deal of anxiety. Basing 
his conclusions on the facts provided in the Simon Commission Report, he found 
that more than half the soldiers of the then Indian Army were from the North West 
Frontier and West Punjab and most of them were Muslim. Although the British 
Indian government justified the profile of recruitment with their theory of martial 
and non-martial classes, yet the fact was that during the great rebellion of 1 857, the 
people of these areas remained loyal to the British whereas soldiers recruited by the 
East India Company from the Indo-Gangetic plains were the ones that actually 
revolted. This was the conclusion of a Special Army Survey in 1 879 which observed 
that the distinction between martial and non-martial classes were indistinct. 

The Khilafat committee, in its anxiety to safeguard Pan Islamism had enunciated 
the principle that the Indian Army should not be used against a Muslim power. The 
Muslim League had endorsed this principle. In the words of Ambedkar even The- 
odore Morrison, writing in 1899, was of the opinion that the views held by the 
Mahomedans (certainly the most aggressive and truculent of the peoples of India) 
are alone sufficient to prevent the establishment of an independent Indian Govern- 
ment. Were the Afghan to descend from the north upon an autonomous India, the 
Mahomedans, instead of uniting with the Sikhs and Hindus to repel him, would be 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


drawn by all the ties of kinship and religion to join his flag. The Hindus, he contin- 
ued, could find themselves between the devil and the deep sea so far as the defence 
of India was concerned. If India remains as one whole, what would happen? The 
issue might sound remote today, but remember that in 1919 the protagonists of the 
Khilafat movement had actually gone to the extent of inviting the Amir of Afghan- 
istan to invade India. 

Even the cost benefit factor did not escape Babasaheb although he was not a 
financial expert. As he put it; The Pakistan area which is the main recruiting 
ground of the present Indian Army contributes very little to the central exchequer. 
The main contribution comes from the provinces of Hindustan. In fact it is the 
money contributed by the provinces of Hindustan which enables the Government 
of India to carry out its activities in the Pakistan provinces. The Pakistan provinces 
are a drain on the provinces of Hindustan. Not only do they contribute very little 
to the Central Government but they receive a great deal from the Central Govern- 
ment. The revenue of the Central Government amounts to Rs. 121 crore. Of this 
about Rs. 52 crore are annually spent on the army. In what area is this amount 
spent? Who pays the bulk of this amount of Rs. 52 crore? The bulk of this amount 
of Rs. 52 crore which is spent on the army is spent over the Muslim army drawn 
from the Pakistan area. Now the bulk of this amount of Rs. 52 crore is contributed 
by the Hindu provinces and is spent on an army from which the Hindus, who pay 
for it, are excluded! How many Hindus are aware of this tragedy? 

It is time now to briefly recall what Mahatma Gandhi did, or said, in the context 
of Hindu Muslim relations. His insistence on the delivery of Rs 55 crore to Pakistan 
regardless of its invasion of Jammu & Kashmir in 1947 is well known. What however 
is useful to recall are the Moplah riots in the Malabar area of, what is now, Kerala. 

Disappointed at the likelihood of not being able to retain the Khalifa on the 
throne of Turkey, the Moplahs turned on their Hindu neighbours and slaughtered 
several thousand of them and destroyed hundreds of their houses. Yet, Gandhiji 
spoke of the attackers as brave God fearing Moplahs who were fighting for, what 
they considered their religion and in a manner which they considered as religious. 
Simultaneously, Gandhiji exhorted the Hindus to have courage and faith that they 
could protect their religion in spite of such fanatical eruptions. 

If only Ambedkar had been the first Prime Minister of India, would not the his- 
tory of the subcontinent been different? With the respective populations trans- 
ferred, as suggested by Babasaheb and demanded by the Muslim League, would 
there have been any scope left for communal conflict? 

26 Swaraj Meant Saving the Khalifa 

The British themselves considered 13th April, 1919 as a dark day in the history of 
their rule in India, to the extent that during her official visit in 1997 to India, Queen 
Elizabeth II visited Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar. Evidently, the butchery of some 
hundreds of innocent lives, with the help of 1650 rounds of rifle firing by the sol- 
diers of Brigadier Dyer, sits uneasy on the British conscience. 

This British blot pales into insignificance when remembered in comparison with 
the Moplah riots in the Malabar area of, what is now, Kerala, during 1921. In the 
words of historian R.C.Majumdar, with the Moplah outrages the Congress for- 
feited its moral right to criticize the action of the British authorities in respect of 
the outrages in the Punjab. The enormity of the episode can be gauged from the 
fact that the casualities suffered by the British Indian soldiers in their endeavour to 
put down the riots were 43 killed and 1 26 wounded. The number of policemen who 
lost their lives ran into hundreds. The culprit Moplahs themselves were eventually 
estimated to have suffered 3,000 casualities. 

The massacre of Hindus, their forcible conversions, the outrages upon women, 
the desecration of temples and the burning of houses was unspeakable. The follow- 
ing is a quote from a memorial submitted by the women of Malabar soon after the 
riots to the Vicereina Lady Reading: // is possible that your Ladyship is not fully 
apprised of all the horrors and atrocities perpetrated by the fiendish rebels, of the 
many wells and tanks filled up with the mutilated, but often only half dead bodies 
of our nearest and dearest ones who refused to abandon the faith of our fathers; of 
pregnant women cut to pieces and left on the roadsides and in the jungles, with the 
unborn babe protruding from the mangled corpse, of our innocent and helpless 
children torn from our arms and done to death before our eyes and of our husbands 
and fathers tortured, flayed and burnt alive; of our sisters forcibly carried away 
from the midst of kith and kin and subjected to every shame and outrage which the 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


vile and brutal imagination of these inhuman hell hounds could conceive of, of 
thousands of our homesteads reduced to cinder mounds out of sheer savagery and 
a wanton spirit of destruction; of our places of worship desecrated and destroyed 
and of the images of deity shamefully insulted by putting the entrails of slaughtered 
cows where flower garlands used to lie, or else smashed to pieces. 

The distinguished British theosophist and former President of the Congress 
Party, 1916, Annie Besant, visited Malabar and had the following to say: It would 
be well if Mr Gandhi could be taken into Malabar to see with his own eyes the 
ghastly horrors which have been created by the preaching of himself and his loved 
brothers, Mohammed and Shaukat Ali. Men who consider it religious to murder, 
rape, loot, to kill women and little children, cutting down whole families, have to 
be put under restraint in any civilized society. 

Annie Besant 67 attributed the Moplah riots to the conviction amongst the Mus- 
lims that swaraj would be attained by 1 August 1921. Incidentally, their under- 
standing of swaraj was of a rule dominated by Islam. When rioting began, they 
drove away all Hindus who would not apostatise. Somewhere about a lakh (100, 
000) of people were driven from their homes with nothing but the clothes they had 
on, stripped of everything. The Khilafat preachers have the greatest share of the 
guilt; the Congressmen, with their violent abuse of the government, their lawless- 
ness, their declarations that they were out to destroy the government, were at war 
with the government, a large share. 

The Government of India report on the riots was a detailed one. Quoted now are 
some of the lines from that document: Such Europeans as did not succeed in escap- 
ing- and they were fortunately few -were murdered with bestial savagery. As soon 
as the administration had been paralysed, the Moplahs declared that Swaraj was 
established. A certain Ali Musaliar was proclaimed Raja, Khilafat flags were 
flown, and Ernad and Walluvanad were declared Khilafat kingdoms. The main 
brunt of Moplah ferocity was borne, not by government but the luckless Hindus 
who constituted the majority of the population. Massacres, forcible conversions, 
desecration of temples, foul outrages upon women, pillage, arson and destruction 
- in short, all the accompaniments of brutal and unrestrained barbarism were per- 
petrated freely. 

The official resolution of the Congress Party passed at its plenary session at 
Ahmedabad during the same year was, by contrast, a whitewash: The Congress 
expresses its firm conviction that the Moplah disturbance was not due to the 


Hindu Masjids 

non-cooperation or the Khilafat Movement, specially as the non-cooperation and 
the Khilafat preachers were denied access to the affected parts by the district 
authorities for six months before the disturbance, but is due to causes wholly 
unconnected with the two movements, and that the outbreak would not have 
occurred had the message of non-violence been allowed to reach them. Neverthe- 
less, this Congress deplores the acts done by certain Moplahs by way of forcible 
conversions and destruction of life and property. 

The reason why it is being called a whitewash is a statement signed by the Sec- 
retary and the Treasurer of the Kerala Provincial Congress Committee, Secretary, 
Calicut District Congress Committee and Secretary, Ernad Khilafat Committee and 
K. V.Gopala Menon. It reads: Their wanton and unprovoked attack on the Hindus, 
the all but wholesale looting of their houses in Ernad, and parts of Valluvanad, 
Ponnani and Calicut taluqs; the forcible conversion of Hindus in a few places in 
the beginning of the rebellion and the wholesale conversion of those who stuck to 
their homes in later stages, the brutal murder of inoffensive Hindus, men, women 
and children, in cold blood without the slightest reason except that they are kaflrs 
or belong to the same race as the policemen who insulted their Tangals or entered 
their mosques, desecration and burning of Hindu temples, the outrage on Hindu 
women and their forcible conversion and marriage by Moplahs. 

The Congress whitewash, however, was not a patch on what Mahatma Gandhi 
himself tried to do in order to cover up Moplah crimes. To quote him: The brave 
God fearing Moplahs who were fighting for what they consider as religion, and in 
a manner which they consider as religious. The Hindus must have the courage and 
the faith to feel that they can protect their religion in spite of such fanatical erup- 

In the light of what Gandhiji had to say, it is not surprising what Shaukat Ali, the 
President of the 1923 Khilafat Conference, at Cocanada, now Kakinada, had to say: 
Thousands of Moplahs had been martyred but they owed a duty, both on religious 
and humanitarian grounds, to these brave Moplahs. He went on to announce that 
he and his brother, Maulana Muhammad Ali, would each provide for the mainte- 
nance of one Moplah orphan. Hasrat Mohani, President of the Muslim League in 
1923, characterised the Moplah action as a religious war against the British. It 
was a political movement which could not be dissociated from the khilafat agita- 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


This contention should be no surprise if one recalls the impression that Gandhi 
had conveyed to his Muslim colleagues on the Khilafat committee as to what con- 
stituted swaraj or freedom. It is best to quote the Mahatma himself: To the Musal- 
mans swaraj means, as it must, India 's ability to deal effectively with the Khilafat 
question. It is impossible not to sympathise with this attitude... I would gladly ask 
for the postponement of the swaraj activity if we could advance the interest of the 

Sir Sankaran Nair, 68 who was a member of the Viceroy's Executive Council, 
wrote about the Moplah riots in 1922. Himself hailing from Malabar, the pain the 
local people must have felt is reflected in what he wrote. He said: For sheer bru- 
tality on women, I do not remember anything in history to match the Malabar 
(Moplah) rebellion ... The atrocities committed more particularly on women are so 
horrible and unmentionable that I do not propose to refer to them in this book. 

Sir Sankaran has analysed the root cause of the Moplah riots as Gandhiji's lack 
of understanding of the Muslim psyche. It is impossible to believe that Gandhi and 
his adherents are not aware that this claim of the Mahomedans to be judged only by 
the law of the Qoran, is a claim which is the funs et origo of all Khilafat claims of 
whatever kind. He subsequently quotes Hasrat Mohani's speech at the Karachi ses- 
sion of the Khilafat Conference wherein he pointed out that Islam is opposed to non- 
violence and, as he said in the course of one of his speeches, the Mussalmans 
accepted it on the promise of (Maulana) Mahomed Ali to secure swaraj within a 
year. It was a legitimate move therefore to proclaim a rebellion. He pointed out 
another difference in principle which is productive of frightful consequences and 
must alienate Hindus from Mahomedans. The Ali Brothers had already said that if 
the Afghans invaded India to wage a holy war the Indian Mahomedans are not only 
bound to fight them but also to fight the Hindus if they refuse to cooperate with them. 

Sir William Vincent, member of the Legislative Assembly in New Delhi, spoke 
on 1 8 January 1 922. / do not put it that Mr Gandhi is responsible for this directly, 
but I do say that his supporters - his Muhammadan supporters - were the cquse of 
this terrible loss of life. Indeed you have only got to read Mr Hasrat Mohani 's 
speech to see what the character of the rising was. 

Those not familiar with Malabar may be curious to know who the Moplahs 
were? They were descendents of Arab traders who settled down on the Malabar 
coast during the 9th century. They married local women and multiplied their race 
into large numbers. 

27 Archaeological Surveys 

British discoveries and Indian concealments 

At the 61st session of the Indian History Congress held in Kolkata during 2001, 
Prof Nadeem Rizvi of Aligarh Muslim University proposed moving a resolution 
seeking a blanket ban on defacing monuments of historical importance. The 
author's visit to the Rudramahalaya complex at Siddhpur in the Patan district of 
Gujarat on 29 June 2000, had given him the impression that there was in any case, 
an implicit freeze on archaeological excavations. 

The Archaeological Survey (ASI) had a plaque, placed at Rudramahalaya during 
British rule, which says that there were a group of eleven temples. Only four had 
been excavated during that time. One of them even today has a Shivling. The other 
three are chapels but without idols which had originally existed but had later been 
destroyed. A mehrab of the Jami Masjid, that still exists, had covered all the four 

On the repeated exhortation of the local Muslim community in 1959, the ASI 
decided to beautify the surroundings of the masjid. However, it took nearly two 
decades before work could actually begin. In an endeavour to create space for a 
garden around the masjid, some digging took place. In the bargain, some stone stat- 
ues including that of a Nandi bull were discovered. 

It appeared to be an inadvertent beginning of excavating the remaining seven 
sanctum sancti. Since this could prove embarrassing, the community leaders 
retracted their exhortations and asked the ASI to stop work. They not only got a 
stay order from the Ahmedabad High Court but also got the National Minorities 
Commission to intervene with the government in Delhi to freeze the excavation 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


In the light of what the author found as a result of his visit to Siddhpur, the Places 
of Worship Special Provisions Act rushed through Parliament by the P.V.Nar- 
asimha Rao government in 1991 no longer seemed surprising. Prima facie, the act 
is arbitrary and obliterates the sense behind archaeological discoveries, and the les- 
sons that can be drawn from them. 

The objective of the act is to maintain communal harmony by prohibiting con- 
versions of places of worship. The character of any place of worship has to be fro- 
zen as it existed on 15 August 1947. Evidently, there was no objection either to 
conversion of people from one religion to another, or to the conversion of temples 
into mosques that had taken place before independence. The vicarious result of the 
act is to endorse virtual inactivity of the ASI with regard to excavations. 

Rudramahalaya is not the only instance. Another one is the Adhai Din Ka Jhopra 
at Ajmer which was clearly a temple complex in the days of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. 
The ASI during British rule excavated several hundred stone statues which are all 
displayed at the Rajputana Museum at Akbar Fort in Ajmer, as well as in an enclo- 
sure in the Jhopra compound. But all these belong to the British era. No new work 
has been undertaken since, and the Jhopra is being used everyday for ibaadat and 
as a is no longer treated as a protected monument. All this appears to be a 
pity when one reads the idealistic impulses with which the ASI became operative 
in 1 862 with the appointment of Cunningham as Director of Archaeology. 

Cunningham's duty was defined, in a resolution, to superintend a complete 
search over the whole country and a systematic record and description of all archi- 
tectural and other remains that are remarkable for their antiquity or their beauty, or 
their historical interest. Evidently, exploration and excavation were the primary 
functions of the Director General. The work of repair and renovation was not really 
a part of his duties. In fact, an exclusive Curator of Ancient Monuments was 
appointed in 1 878 for this purpose. What comes through is that the emphasis of the 
ASI was on discovery. 

Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India during 1899 to 1905, took special interest in the 
archaelogical department. His interest culminated in the passing of the Ancient 
Monuments Preservation Act in 1904 (see Annexure I). Soon after his arrival in 
India, the young Viceroy, in the course of his speech to the Asiatic Society of Ben- 
gal, had said: we have a duty to our forerunners, as well as to our contemporaries 
and to our descendents, nay, our duty to the two latter classes in itself demands the 
recognition of an obligation to the former, since we are the custodians for our own 


Hindu Mas/ ids 

age of that which has been bequeathed to us by an earlier, and since posterity will 
rightly blame us if, owing to our neglect, they fail to reap the same advantages that 
we have been privileged to enjoy. Moreover, how can we expect at the hands of 
futurity any consideration for the productions of our own time - if indeed any are 
worthy of such - unless we have ourselves shown a like respect to the handiwork 
of our predecessors? 

Incidentally, the act defines ancient monuments as any structure, erection or 
monument, or any tumulus or place of internment or any cave, rock sculpture, 
inscription or monolith, which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest. In 
the course of the next four or five decades of British rule, innumerable historical 
monuments were discovered, excavated, declared protected and preserved. The 
meticulousness with which the ASI functioned during these years only evokes 
admiration. Atleast in the context of preserving India's antiquity, the British dis- 
played an extraordinary interest, if not also affection. The dedicated men of the 
ASI, evidently did their work as if they had overlooked the inevitability of their 
some day handing over India to the Indians and themselves going home. 

They conducted their work with complete objectivity. Regardless of whether it 
was a Hindu or a Muslim monument, their efforts to preserve were the same and 
their description impartial. All in all, ever since the ASI was founded in 1862, right 
until 1947, could well be described as the golden age of archaeology in India. 

Come independence, something seems to have snapped and political priorities 
began to intrude into the work of this essentially scientific pursuit. What has hap- 
pened at the Rudramahalaya complex in Gujarat has already been described. What 
happened to Bijamandal mosque in Vidisha near Bhopal is equally regrettable. Bij- 
amandal is a temple of massive dimensions comparable with Konark in Orissa. It 
was desecrated again and again since Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish first indulged 
in his iconoclasm. Then followed Allauddin Khilji. Thereafter Bahadur Shah of 
Gujarat and finally Aurangzeb. 

On the morrow of a flood in 1991, some idols got exposed on the apron of the 
temple where ibaadat used to be held every Eid. Following the exposure, local 
officers of the ASI, protected by the District Collector, excavated many sculptural 
treasures. The work, however, could not last long as the ASI received instructions 
to stop. The officer incharge of the ASI at Vidisha was transferred out, as was the 
Collector. The Human Resources Development minister at Delhi (1990-94) hap- 
pened to be the leader of the self-styled secular lobby in Madhya Pradesh. Since 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 

J 83 

then, the Bijamandal edifice is marking time with many sculptures hidden under its 
south side. On the author's visit to the site in October 2000, he was told by a few 
local residents that some Muslim leaders were upset and had raised an objection to 
ibaadatbeing stopped. This is the extent to which the cancer of politics has affected 
the ASI. 

Way back in 1 95 1 , the government of independent India had legislated on the 
subject of archaeology. The legislation was called The Ancient and Historical 
Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National 
Importance) Act (see Annexure II). The thrust of this brief statute was that all 
archaeological sites and remains declared by this Act to be of national importance 
shall be deemed to be protected monuments and protected areas. This was the 
beginning of government's policy of freezing discoveries in their existing condi- 
tions. Calling the sites of national importance, was an euphemism for snuffing out 
controversies over the sites, before they arose. The archaeological department was 
a part of the Education Ministry and the portfolio was held by Maulana Abul 
Kalam Azad until his death. 

Not quite satisfied with the wording of the Act of 1951, the government had 
another bill passed in 1958. The law was called The Ancient Monuments and 
Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (see Annexure III). Uncannily, the thrust of 
this statute was the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection 
of sculptures, carvings and other like objects. The powers of the regulation would 
enable the ASI to even stop excavation work. Which is what was actually illus- 
trated by the Rudramahalaya complex and the Bijamandal mosque, described ear- 
lier. Whether the Education Ministry at the time had on its mind the fact that many 
temples had been converted into mosques and that in India after partition there 
might arise demands for changing the status quo. The protection of a national mon- 
ument necessarily carried with it the message that the status quo had to be pre- 

Some years later, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad mounted a campaign for the return 
of the Babri masjid at Ayodhya, the Idgaah built by Aurangzeb at Mathura and the 
Gyan Vapi mosque which had replaced the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The Acts of 
1951 and 1958 were mild and subtle in contrast to the blatancy of The Places of 
Worship Special Provisions Act 1991 (see Annexure IV) which was passed at the 
initiative of the P.V. Narasimha Rao government. The first objective was to fore- 
stall the controversy that would arise from time to time with regard to conversions 
of places of worship. It was declared that the character of any place of worship that 


Hindu Masjids 

existed on August 15, 1947 could not be changed. Even if there was any litigation 
pending in courts, it would wait and no further suits could be filed. 

The pretext was the maintenance of communal harmony and peace. Uncannily, 
Ayodhya was made an exception and was exempted from the mischief of this act. 
Sure enough, in the course of the next year and a half, the Babri edifice was brought 
down. Within hours of the domes having collapsed, Prime Minister P.V. Nar- 
asimha Rao made a promise in his address to the nation that the masjid would be 
rebuilt. In fact, there was no need to rebuild the whole edifice. All that was neces- 
sary for his government to do was to reconstruct the domes. In absolute violation 
of this promise, New Delhi with the help of Governor's rule imposed under Article 
356 by 6 p.m. on 6 December 1992 dismantled the entire edifice, removed the rub- 
ble and built a temple for infant Ram quickly on the very site where had stood the 
Babri masjid. 

The Act of 1 99 1 is not only undemocratic and arbitrary but also an order to block 
any new research or thinking on the thousands of religious sites that exist in the 
country. Ironically, the conversion of individuals from one faith to another religion 
is permissible constitutionally, but a change in the character of a place of worship 
is disallowed by law. 

If this be the intention of the government, where is the need to persevere with 
the Archaeological Survey of India which would attract criticism. Would it there- 
fore not be realistic to consider closing down the Survey ? If ministers, other offic- 
ers of the government or, for that matter, the Minorities Commission can be 
allowed to interfere with the scientific pursuits of archaeology, continuance of the 
ASI would appear to be hypocritical. Unless the Survey is allowed to function 
freely, future generations would not be able to understand their historical/cultural 

28 Hindu Future after Black Tuesday 

Black Tuesday, 1 1th September, 2001, ironically, lent credence to the claim that 
the 21st century would be India's. This is not to make light of the calamity in New 
York and Washington, but merely to suggest that vicariously a new dawn has bro- 
ken on the destiny of Hindustan. 

It is difficult to imagine the fate of Hindu civilisation if twice before in modern 
history fortune not come to its rescue.Not many readers would find it palatable to 
know that the Battle of Plassey fought in Bengal in 1757 proved to be a boon for 
Hindu civilisation. This is not to say that Robert Clive was an altruist, or that the 
East India Company had come for the welfare of Indians. It is only to suggest that- 
British rule altered the Hindu Muslim equation, which had been oppressively 
loaded against the former, since the establishment of the sultanate in Delhi at the 
close of the 12th century. Since then, Hindus progressively became subjects of 
Muslims. There was oppression, and for centuries, Hindus were not even treated as 
legitimate citizens, unless they paid jizyah or poll tax. Conversion to Islam was the 
other alternative. 

With the advent of the British, and especially after the rebellion of 1857, the 
oppressors were reduced to being subjects at the same level as the Hindus. The 
British rulers, although economically exploitative, were politically fair, as well as 
liberal, compared to the Muslim conduct of government. Little wonder that several 
leaders of the stature of Raja Rammohan Roy emerged, and Hindu Renaissance 
began by the middle of the 19th century. From being half dead for centuries, Hindu 
civilisation began to breathe active life again. The replacement of Persian by Eng- 
lish as the court language,and of the Shariat by an Indian Penal Code helped the 
Hindus to reach equal status. 


Hindu Masjids 

In a different way, 1 5th August, 1947 was also a day when destiny saved Hindu 
civilisation from again getting overshadowed by a dominant minority Muslim pop- 
ulation. The Hindus were dead against bifurcation. It was the Muslim League 
which demanded partition with vehemence and violence like the great Calcutta 
killings which began on 16th August, 1946. Bifurcation fulfilled the Muslim desire 
to have an Islamic state or a Dar-ul-Islam. There is no doubt that partition was 
nationally as painful as metaphorically a double amputation, one in the northwest 
and the other in the east, the two wings of Pakistan. The division of India was cruel 
and tragic for individuals and families who suffered. On the other hand, had parti- 
tion not taken place, the Muslim population of undivided India today would be 
approximately 38 percent. Such a large minority, if it were to vote in unison, could 
easily elect a Muslim ministry or a sultanate in New Delhi, considering the influ- 
ence that approximately 12 percent Muslims of India have at present on the coun- 
try. For example, Shahi Imam Ahmed Bokhari is able to openly support the 
Taliban, despite the widespread conviction that it is the mainspring of Islamic ter- 
rorism today. 

The Imam is only one symptom of the belligerence which goes contrary to 
India's national interest. Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI which func- 
tioned as a limb of Al-Qaeda is another example. Chennai, Mumbai, and Coimbat- 
ore bomb blasts are other examples. The 54 year old Kashmir syndrome confirms. 
How much has it cost in terms of blood, money and, above all, holding back the 
progress of India? The price of minorityism has been a stupendous one. This all 
adds up to the fact that the Hindus are unable to cope with Muslims. Since Hindus 
are essentially an accommodative civilisation. The genesis of this quality is in the 
belief that is rooted in sanatan dharma, that all living beings including birds, ani- 
mals and reptiles are members of the Hindu universe. It is in sharp contrast with the 
Judaic proposition that the world is divided into two types of people: Jews and gen- 
tiles, Christians and heathens, or momins and kafirs. Thus the Hindu ethos and its 
Judaic or Semitic counterpart are sharply different, that one may be compared to a 
horse and the other to a leopard. With all the will in the world, the horse has neither 
the temperament nor the equipment to cope with the aggressiveness of the leopard. 
If the Hindu ethos stands for accommodation, the Judaic world is motivated by a 
desire to dominate. 

The resulting undercurrent for nonviolence has not helped Hindus to deal with 
Muslims who, when they came to India, did so in very small numbers. Yet, almost 
invariably, the Hindus were on the defensive, if not also retreating. This is what 
leads one to believe that in contrast to medieval times, British rule helped Hindus 

Anti-Hindu Hindus 


to develop a somewhat equal equation with the Muslims. It gave relief to the 
trauma that the Hindu psyche had suffered by the impact of Islam in India. 

On Black Tuesday, Islamic terrorists antagonised the whole world. Since soci- 
ety, religion and politics are closely interwoven in Islam, it is difficult for the aver- 
age Muslim to be antipathic towards brother fundamentalists. Even if terrorism is 
abhorred, a Muslim is unable, with a clear conscience, to support a non-Muslim or 
a kafir against any section of their own brotherhood. In the process, the anti- 
terrorist war led and launched by the US has, willy nilly,become a war against 
Islam. Even if this were not to happen, the war would lead to a split in the world's 
ummah. Such a split itself is bound to weaken the community which, in turn, would 
relieve the pressure which Hindu civilisation has been suffering since the advent of 
Muhammad Ghauri at the end of the 12th century. 

In a manner of speaking, Hindus have not been able to stand straight for centu- 
ries. Now however, a new era has begun which should enable them to stand up to 
the ulema generated pressure. Pakistan had to do an about turn under American 
threats; from being a cradle of terrorism, overnight this Dar-ul-Islam of the 
sub-continental Muslim joined the US led coalition which is at war against terror- 
ism. From being a protege, the Taliban became an enemy of Islamabad (capital of 
Pakistan). The Pakistani ulema has so far had to tolerate this metamorphosis 
whether through persuasion, or at the point of a gun. In either case, it loses its 

If the about turn succeeds, Pakistan should become a society reminiscent of 
modern Turkey which in turn would discount the ulema further. On the other hand, 
if there were to be a counter revolution and the policy gets reversed, by inexorable 
logic Pakistan would move towards Talibanisation. It would then become the 
responsibility of the US led coalition to do in Pakistan what it did in Afghanistan. 
This means, that in any case, there would be a depreciation of the ulema 's influence 
in the sub-continent, beginning with Pakistan and then sympathetically in India. 

Hindu Masjids 

IV Strategy 

It is unlikely that conflict can be resolved without the help of a strategy. This is a 
word which is often used, but seldom understood. It is quite common to confuse it 
with a tactic, or a subterfuge, or a gameplan. However, it is none of these. It envis- 
ages a scheme of action and possible reaction, based on thinking through the whole 
conflict. This avoids ad hoc measures, or steps that may contradict other steps in 
the course of an endeavour to resolve the conflict. It enables one to have an answer 
for almost every situation as it emerges, whether in the course of fighting or diplo- 
macy or plain persuasion. 

The foundation of strategy is an assessment of one's own strengths and weak- 
nesses and, thereafter, an understanding of the adversary's strengths as well as 
weaknesses. Remember, what suits a leopard with his long, sharp, canine teeth and 
his powerful paws is unlikely to be of use to a horse who has many virtues but no 
inherent assets for attack. 

What suits a typical Muslim or a typical European may or may not suit a Hindu 
with his reactive reluctance to attack, to kill and to fight to the end regardless of who 
the adversary is and what the costs are. To illustrate the concept, Sri Krishna is impor- 
tant. On the one hand, he was a personification of the Hindu genius and, on the other, 
an imaginative strategist who did not allow his fillial bonds to supersede his cause. 
To adopt a sentence from William Shakespeare, he should well tell Duryodhan: it is 
not that I love you less, my cousin; it is just that I love the cause of Hastinapur more. 
In other words, he is the finest example that there has been of a Hindu strategist. 

This section begins with India's outstanding dispute with China. The intention 
is to focus with clarity on strategy, as distinct from the Hindu Muslim conflict. 
Since that is the subject of this book, it is possible that their conflict would over- 
flow into their dispute with either Pakistan or Bangladesh. The case of China is 
well away from the conflict. 

Peoples' Liberation Army soldiers go through their paces 

29 Negotiate with China 

Tawang in NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh, fell into the hands of the Chinese army 
in September 1962. A colleague of the author, five years his senior and he applied 
for joining the Territorial Army in Calcutta. The author was 25, a bachelor doing 
well in a well paid job. Basant Dube at 30 was married with a son. Their con- 
sciences were restless because although they were able bodied, they were not doing 
anything for defending the country. The author could not take his mind off a scene 
in the film called the Four Faces of Apocalypse. It was the famous actor Charles 
Boyer bidding goodbye to his son on a bridge across the river Seine in Paris. The 
boy had been embodied by the French army and was proceeding to the Belgian 
front during May 1940, when the Germans were overwhelming France at the 
beginning of World War II. Boyer was weeping at the thought of possibly losing 
his son. Yet he said go on my son so that you don 't have to live with a bad con- 
science as I have done since 1914. Instead of responding to the national call to join 
up and face the invading Germans 1, (Boyer) ran away to Argentina. 

Basant and the author tried hard to move their applications only to find after 
about two weeks, that they had been mislaid. So they applied again, and were soon 
called for a preliminary interview at Fort William followed by a medical examina- 
tion. The doctor declared the author knock kneed and flat footed. Both of them did 
not give up, and Basant approached some friends who ensured that the author was 
called by the Services Selection Board at Allahabad for an interview. By the time 
he reached trie Board, it was the middle of February 1963. On 21st November, 
1962, the Chinese had declared a unilateral ceasefire. The point to note was that at 
no stage did they come across any undue anxiety in the government that the enemy 
had crossed the threshold. Nor was there any urgency to recruit soldiers to meet the 
Chinese invasion. 


Hindu Masjids 

What could be the reason? Was the Indian state too young at statecraft on a large 
scale? Too new to behave like a large modern state? China had been a centralised 
state for 2,200 years with a central bureaucracy. Over 91 percent of its people 
belong to one race, namely the Han who speak the same language. China has had 
its ups and downs, experiencing foreign exploitation especially during the 19th 
century. But as a whole, the country has never been under a foreign yoke. The peo- 
ple are conscious of their importance as a civilisation. In Chinese, China is Chung- 
wah; chung means central or middle and wah means country. Social freedom has 
never been a Chinese virtue; they have never experienced democracy. The state is 
all important and it does not get shaken easily. For example, in 1961, the year 
before its army came hurtling into Ladakh and NEFA, some 30 million had died of 
starvation in its western provinces. This, despite people being willing to eat most 
things — the snake is a popular favourite. Cockroaches are sold as a delicacy openly 
on the streets of Guangzhou, previously Canton and other cities. 

Nevertheless, do not forget that today if there is one faith the Chinese people 
cherish, it is the Buddhism. Marxism came and went. In 1991, Hongkong, now a 
part of China, installed a splendid huge statue of Lord Buddha, because people 
were seeking a place for pilgrimage. In 2001, Hainan province was putting up, 
what its people considered, the world's tallest Buddha statue, again with pilgrim- 
age as the objective. Most Chinese are aware that Gautam Buddha lived and 
preached in India. They identify India as Hindu. Lord Buddha was the tenth 
avataar of Vishnu. 

Sri Krishna would know all this and more, and impress upon the Chinese as pub- 
licly as possible, that India is their holy land. Come and visit the sacred places. At 
the same time, he would explain to the powers in Beijing the pressures of a 
multipolar world. Why throw India into the arms of the super power America? You 
have enough on your hands with the US in Taiwan, Japan, Nepal, Russia and so 
on? Wy provoke the addition of India to a list of American allies? No doubt, Sri 
Krishna would speak equally frankly to his own people. Tell China to come clean 
on what and how much territory it needs for its own strategic defence on the out- 
skirts of Tibet and Xinjiang, or Sinkiang of old as well as in the eastern sector. For 
the rest, please give us back what belongs to us. Sri Krishna would appeal to the 
Chinese as well as to his own people not to stand on pride. True, their representa- 
tives had not signed the Anglo-Tibetan agreement in the Simla conference on 
1913-14 which led to the drawing of the McMahon Line. On our part, we under- 
take that no Tibetan would be allowed to keep any political contact with his com- 



patriots in his home area. That is on the condition that you arrive at a full and final 
settlement of the boundaries between our two countries. 

Although in his first incarnation 3,400 years ago, land was all important as a 
source of income and wealth, Sri Krishna would today know that technology and 
trade are the great national earners. Territory continues to be important, but not cru- 
cial as a principal source of wealth. China's first preoccupation today is with man- 
ufacture and export of goods, as well as accumulating foreign exchange. Earlier on, 
land was an obsession especially in over populated countries. That is when the bor- 
der conflict began. Why carry it on now? 

Mao Zedong and Chou en-Lai died years ago. So have Jawaharlal Nehru and 
V.K. Krishna Menon. In other words, so much water has flowed down the rivers of 
India and China, that today both are virtually unrecognisable from the era of Mao 
and Nehru. It is sad, if not also tragic, that the border dispute should have been 
allowed to fester indefinitely for decades. The problem was recognised by the Brit- 
ish government in the 19th century. As a mature state, Britain believed in consoli- 
dating the frontiers of her territory. An unsettled border would cause disputes and 
divert the government's attention from concentrating on its main function of run- 
ning the state, ensuring peace and thus promoting trade and prosperity. 

Little wonder that the British encouraged negotiations with Lhasa in the pres- 
ence of the Chinese who were then the de jure suzerains of Tibet. The treaty agree- 
ing on the McMahon Line was signed in 1914; the Chinese initialed it although 
eventually did not sign. Sri Krishna never sat on problems and allowed them to 
fester. He could see through every issue and find an answer without standing on 
pride. Which is what helped to make him such a strategist. Imagine at the age of 
only 25, he decided to withdraw from Mathura and Brajbhoomi to save his people 
from being harassed by Jarasandh. He migrated several hundred miles away to 
Dwarka in western India and lived there for the rest of his life. 

When he negotiated with the Kauravas on behalf of the Pandavas after they had 
returned from their thirteen year exile, he asked for only five villages. The Kaurava 
prince Duryodhan was too full of himself to concede anything. The eventual result 
was the Mahabharat war. Sri Krishna knew the balance between the desirable and 
the possible. He did not permit ego to interfere. Or else could he have acted as the 
sarathi or charioteer of Arjun on the battlefield? Similarly, he would go a long way 
to persuade the powers in Beijing and the people in India to arrive at a settlement. 
Knowing the price of war, he would not emulate Jawaharlal Nehru, who on his way 


Hindu Masjids 

to Colombo on 20th August, 1962, told the press that he had ordered our troops to 
throw the Chinese out. Nor would Sri Krishna sit on his sword indefinitely as has 
been done by the Indian government for all these decades. And of course, as was 
his wont, his combat would be truly strategic with no holds barred. Not an impul- 
sive effort. 

30 Make Muslims Realise 

Islam is about 1 ,400 years old. Even Jesus Christ preached and blessed 20 centuries 
ago. Whereas Sri Krishna's historicity dates back to some 3,400 years. He would 
therefore be utterly free of any communal prejudice. In his times, there was no faith 
in India, other than the sanatan dharma. The Hindu faith includes all living beings 
as part of the universe. He would not be conscious of either a heathen or a kqfir. 
Who could be better placed to be objective and impartial between one human being 
and another, between one Indian and another, between the Hindu and the Muslim? 

Yet he would be quick to realise the historical conflict between the two commu- 
nities, its causes and its potential dangers. Without resolving this tension, Hindus- 
tan cannot forge ahead as quickly, or as well, as it might. When Sri Krishna sets out 
to bring about the much needed cordiality and goodwill, he would direct his genius 
as well his affection first towards the Muslims, If for no other reason, then the fact 
that in Hindustan they are fewer in number than the Hindus. Soon enough, he 
would discover that there are few leaders commanding widespread respect among 
the Muslims whom he couid meet, confer with and resolve points of conflict. The 
ulema, popularly called the mullahs, refuse to listen with their minds open. How 
can they? By listening, one might have to begin to concede points which are obvi- 
ously reasonable. But what is reasonable in the Indian context today might conflict 
with what was valid in Arabia 1 ,400 years ago. 

The ulema 's faith in Islam is absolute. And Islam is what was the final message 
of Allah delivered by the last prophet, his holiness Muhammad Saheb whether con- 
tained in the Quran Sharief or in the Hadith. Those leaders, who are liberal and are 
prepared to adjust to modern Indian conditions have to either keep quiet and toe the 
line of the alims, or else they come into hopeless conflict with the mullahs. The 
average Muslim is entirely wedded to his faith, as set for him by the ulema through 
the imam who delivers a khutabh or sermon in masjids after the Friday prayers. Sri 


Hindu Masjids 

Krishna would thus find that it is pointless to negotiate with such Muslim leader- 
ship on national and social issues. The Muslim woman is difficult to approach. 
Either she is behind the burqa or is at home. She does not normally come even to 
the masjid. She does not always read newspapers. The only media she might be 
exposed to, is the television. 

The TV is therefore the media to use, not only for women, but also for men. Sri 
Krishna would be able to communicate effectively. He is known for his bold fresh- 
ness, clarity of thought and the lucidity of message. Sri Krishna would take, as it 
were, the TV screen in his hand and in evenings address the Muslims of India, both 
men and women, half an hour each day. He would tell them how their past was glo- 
rious and how, by contrast, the present is dismal. The Muslims in India, his imme- 
diate audience, are rightly or wrongly, feeling like second ctass citizens. Pakistan 
is threatened with bankruptcy, while Bangladesh is stricken with poverty. Yet how 
prosperous were the Muslims of Mughal India? How proud and powerful! What 
had gone wrong? 

Sri Krishna would have to explain all this by himself. And he would address the 
Muslim people directly, not through any Muslim intermediaries. For his genius 
would realise that, in the nature of things there is a paradox. The Muslims are very 
faithful followers. And there are few communities which produce less non-eccle- 
siastical leaders. Is there a single Muslim leader in India, who has a mass follow- 
ing? It would be necessary to search, and at the end of it, a few names of alims or 
imams would emerge; in other words institutional leaders. The orthodoxy of Islam 
comes in the way of spontaneous leadership emerging. In order to come up, a 
leader has to offer or propose something new. And offering anything new could 
well be offensive to the orthodoxy of Islam. 

Why confine ourselves to the present? How many mass Muslim leaders can we 
name prior to independence? Very few. So few that the Muslim League had to go 
into the arms of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who for most of his life had a liberal out- 
look. He wore western clothes, mostly spoke English, and did not know Urdu. His 
mother tongue was Gujarat i which he spoke fluently, until he went to England. He 
seldom offered namaz. He was a Shia, not a Sunni, had married a Parsi and enjoyed 
a whisky soda on most evenings, according to his brother Ahmed Ali who was a 
friend of the author's grandfather Dharamdas Vora of 401 Girgaum Road, 
Mumbai 2. 



Cut out religious names and the 19th century was also largely barren. Sir Syed 
Ahmed Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, stands out. How many 
other names come to mind? Why restrict our vision to the sub-continent? Let us 
traverse overseas towards the 20th century, and look for leaders or statesmen. Yes, 
Kemal Ataturk comes immediately to mind. To achieve what he did for Turkey, he 
had to go against the ulema. He went to the extent of abolishing the Arabic script 
for the Turkish language, replacing it with the Roman alphabet. He framed non- 
religious or a secular constitution that does not permit a party with a religious man- 
ifesto or programme to function. The army is the guardian of Turkish secularism. 
But how many leaders can go squarely against Islamic tradition and in how many 
societies? Not every country borders Europe. Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser is the 
other outstanding name. Dr. Mohammed Sukarno of Indonesia, Ben Bella of Alge- 
ria, Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia rose to prominence on the back of freedom strug- 
gles. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman of Bangladesh is yet another name, but he 
personified Bengali revolt against the Punjabis of Pakistan. There was no social 
content in his manifesto. Remember, except for Ataturk, none of these leaders was 
able to reform or make the Muslim community more progressive. Gandhiji found 
several willing partners like Maulana Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali in the khi- 
lafat movement of 1 9 1 9/20. No sooner had the movement failed to retain the Sultan 
of Turkey on his throne, the partners abandoned the Mahtama and addressed him 
as Mr. Gandhi. Worse still, they had limited influence over the masses. 

Sri Krishna would explain the importance of nationalism, national territory as 
well as the value of citizenship. He would declare that every Indian should possess 
an identity card or a multi-purpose domestic card for obtaining rations, travelling 
within the country, voting at election time et al. On the card would also be an oath 
that the citizen swears that his loyalty to his country is supreme, and above any 
commitment to other factors including religion. Yes, internationalists like the com- 
munists or supra-national ists, who believe in the supremacy of the world ummah 
might object. They would have the choice to emigrate. If to them their motherland 
is subsidiary to some other object of attachment, let them go out of India. Or else, 
it would be, for them, living in adharma. 

Sri Krishna is likely to be patient with the Muslims because for nearly three cen- 
turies since the death of Aurangzeb in 1 707 A.D. they have been suffering from a 
sense of decline and loss of power. They did not take to western education, or the 
study of English, largely on the advice of the ulema. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan repeat- 
edly bemoaned this lacunae and founded the university at Aligarh. 


Hindu Masjids 

The Hindus are a different case. While they have had their share of sufferings 
and adversity, especially during medieval times, they have no justification for tol- 
erating the anti-Hindu fringe amongst themselves. Yet they do. A fifth column is 
illegitimate. A traitor is worse than an enemy. A Jaichand, who betrayed Prithiviraj 
Chauhan, is more damnable than all the deceits that Muhammad Ghauri, the 
invader practised. Sri Krishna would no doubt order such anti-Hindus to ask for 
forgiveness and swear an oath of allegiance to the country, or otherwise quit India. 

At the same time Sri Krishna would see to it that the government of India would 
locate, arrest and send to the Assam border the infiltrators in batches of one thou- 
sand. From several points on the border with Bangladesh, these infiltrators would 
be extradited under the full glare of media, press as well as TV, foreign as well as 
Indian. This expulsion of infiltrators would help to convince not only the Assamese 
but also the people of Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland that the government 
means business for the protection of the seven sisters. Sri Krishna would also insist 
with the Government of India that its abrogate the pernicious Illegal Migrants 
(Determination of Tribunals) Act, 1983. This act was passed by the Indira Gandhi 
government in 1983. It makes Assam the only state in India where, if challenged, 
the onus of proving that he is a foreigner is on the government and not on the per- 
son. Everywhere else in the country the Foreigners Act 1 946 applies. According to 
this law the onus of proving, when challenged, that the person is an Indian is on 
him and not on the government. 

31 Win Over the Northeast 

Sri Krishna was the first to personify the unity of India. On his shifting from Math- 
ura to Dwarka, he went on to become the president of the Andhaka-Vrisni league 
or confederation of five Yadava republican committees. They were situated on the 
west coast of what is now called Saurashtra, the peninsula in Gujarat. 

The area was called Prabhas and the capital was at Dwarkapuri. The city of Pra- 
bhas Patan still throbs with life and activity. It is only a few kilometers from Som- 
nath. The constituted members of the Andhaka-Vrisni league had their differences 
and could not pull on together. Sri Krishna was keen to ensure unity, but his efforts 
eventually came to naught. He failed, as recorded by Shobha Mukherji, 69 

He realised he was ahead of his time and, yet being wedded to the idea of polit- 
ical unity, he charted a new path. He guided and supported the Pandavas in the epic 
war. Eventually they emerged victorious and established a united kingdom at Has- 
tinapur. Soon thereafter, Yudhisthira was advised to perform aswamedha or horse 
sacrifice with the intention of expanding the state. 

Manipuris on the Myanmar border are predominantly devotees of Sri Krishna. 
It is believed that Arjun was sent to the border state whose princess Chitrangada 
was married to him. Arjun was also reputed to have conquered a number of other 
territories. Similarly, his younger brother Nakul went westwards and made quite a 
few conquests on the banks of river Sindhu as well as Saraswati. Incidentally, the 
south also was not neglected; all the Ayyangars of Tamilnadu are devotees of Sri 
Krishna. In Tamil, Krishna is called Kanha and Kannan is quite a popular name. 

Some part of the northeast region of Hindustan or the other is disturbed and a 
thorn in national unity. Many problems are easy to understand. Yet there are many 
others which defy diagnosis by most political doctors. Take for example the largest 


Hindu Masjids 

of the seven sister states. The non-tribal Assamese speaking people of the Bra- 
hamaputra valley have long been dissatisfied with the government's lackadaisical 
attitude towards infiltrators from Bangladesh and before 1971, East Pakistan. 
Within years of partition, allegations were heard against leaders like Moinul Haq 
Chowdhury and later Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed that they were encouraging the set- 
tlement of infiltrators from across the border. It was a popular impression that the 
Congress party's strategy for winning the elections was the wooing of Ali, coolie 
or tea garden workers and Bengalis who were mainly residents of Cachar and Goal- 
para. These districts had been transferred in 1874 from the Bengal presidency to 
make Assam a large enough province. The lovers of Assam hated the Congress pol- 
icy. Their caste profile was interesting. About a third are Brahmins. A select few 
families claimed their ancestry to be Kannaujia; their forefathers were specially 
invited from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh by the Ahom kings of Sibsagar in the 14th 
century to introduce Hinduism systematically among the people. These Brahmins 
are proud of their tradition. About a third more of the non-tribal Assamese are 
kayastha and the remaining third belongs to other castes. No one was a dalit. 

These lovers of Assam, felt threatened from two angles. They were progres- 
sively getting outnumbered. And with that their cultural identity was getting 
diluted. From time to time, in small pockets, tempers used to run high and protests 
lodged. Occasionally, the wrath was directed against, say, the Bengalis as in 1960. 
The resentment however was not accurately focussed until 1979, when some uni- 
versity students unearthed electoral rolls in the Mangaldoi constituency which was 
then represented by Begum Anwara Taimur. Quite a significant number of the vot- 
ers, were recent infiltrators from Bangladesh. 

An agitation followed the discovery which, in turn, led to the formation of the 
All Assam Students Union, popularly called AASU. This organisation of youth 
swore that they would drive out all the illegal settlers from Assam. Yet, when the 
electoral party that grew out of AASU came to power in Assam, it did not take any 
action to evict the infiltrators. Their names were not even removed from the elec- 
toral rolls. The terrorist offshoot of AASU, also did little to dislodge the illegal set- 
tlers. Instead the organisation made the secession of Assam from India as its 
priority. Who made the posters is not known, but the author has seen some which 
said: Indian dogs get out of Assam. This organisation like AASU as well as its elec- 
toral offshoot is largely led by the Assamese of the valley, or the lovers of Assam. 
Paradoxically, the tribal communities like the Bodos, the Rajbanshis, the Kochs, 
and the Chutiyas have never raised the cry of secession from the country. There is 
a standing demand for a Bodoland but only as a state within the Indian union. There 



have been demands for secession, at various stages and times, since independence 
by Naga as well as Mizo organisations, but never by the plains tribals of Assam. 

The author's association with the tea fraternity has made him somewhat familiar 
with the region, although by no means an expert on its political affairs. Neverthe- 
less, he knows enough to believe that in its ethnic variety, the northeast is perhaps 
the world's most complex region. It is not easy to understand the pulls and pres- 
sures that eventually weave into a lovely tapestry, albeit of a designer reminiscent 
of a mosaic. To his way of thinking, the northeast is as much a limb of Mother India 
as any other state. Nor would Sri Krishna possibly disagree. As a popular legend 
persists, Sri Krishna eloped with Rukmini, his second wife, from the kingdom of 
Roing, which is not far away from the confluence of the rivers Sikiang, Dibang and 
Lohit which join to become the Brahamaputra in today's Arunachal Pradesh. 

Rukmini was known for her beauty and Shishupal, the prince of a neighbouring 
kingdom, was courting her. Sri Krishna intervened and eloped, but before he could 
do so, Rukmini' s tribe called the Idu, sided with Shishupal and put up a fight. After 
defeating the Idus, Sri Krishna insisted that they cut their hair below their ears. That 
Sri Krishna had sent Arjun all the way to Manipur soon after the Mahabharat war, 
has already been mentioned. But that was 3,400 years ago, when life was less com- 
plex. What would the avataar of Vishnu do now to cure the rather wounded north- 
east limb of Mother India? 

One supposes that he would use the media, both print and electronic, to persuade 
the people of the region to get rid of the fears which cause the feeling of alienation, 
if not also separatism, and even a desire to secede from Hindustan. Whether through 
articles, editorials, TV debates, panel discussions, plays, skits, Sri Krishna would 
ask the people: if you do not belong to Mother India, fair enough, but where else 
do you belong? A small state such as yours cannot survive in a modern globalising 
world. It is wise to know whom one wishes to marry before considering a divorce. 
For a small state to survive alone today, is not possible. 

The next poser of Sri Krishna would be: suppose New Delhi were to agree to 
secession of any of the states and, as a corollary, the Central Reserve Police and the 
Assam Rifles as well as the Border Security Force and the army are withdrawn. 
Would that not open the gates for infiltrators from Bangladesh to flood the land 
most of which is so rich and fertile? The government of Bangladesh has an army, 
navy as well as an air force. Would a small state be able to raise such forces? If so, 
how soon? Would it take more than a few weeks, or at most a few months, for the 


Hindu Masjids 

infiltrators to rush in? Listening to Sri Krishna's arguments the people would real- 
ise that even if it were easy to separate, how difficult it would be to survive there- 
after. This is the eventual outcome that has been overlooked by most people. 

Sri Krishna would certainly ask not merely New Delhi but all parts of India to 
go and visit the northeast which is one of the greenest, lushest and amongst the 
prettiest areas in the world and once tension is removed and peace returns, invest- 
ments would flow in. But being the son of a cowherd, Krishna would know who 
would take to farming more than business. Agriculture, whether individual, family 
or on a plantation scale, would be the answer. No less valuable would be tourism 
and so on. Sri Krishna would not stop at asking the people of New Delhi and others 
to go and understand the agonies and ecstasies of their seven sisters. He would also 
ask all the people of the region to go out and acquaint their brethren in other parts 
of India as to how they feel and how best they can live in the hills and valleys of 
the region blessed by the river Brahmaputra. 

32 Persuade Bangladesh 

Since Sri Krishna lived some 3,400 years ago, he knew no religious differences. 
There were no Muslims and no Christians in his times. Even the Jewish Prophet 
Moses belonged to the 13th century BC. He was far away between Egypt and 
Israel. The avataar of Vishnu therefore knew of only the sanatan dharma or the 
eternal faith. He would be above prejudice between the different faiths which came 
up subsequently. He could therefore take a human view of the infiltration from 
Bangladesh, and not as if it were a Hindu Muslim question or even a dispute 
between two countries. 

It is indeed a human issue or rather a problem of poor India getting even poorer. 
The rich in Hindustan, whether Hindu, Muslim or others, profit by the infiltration 
of Bangladeshi workers. For them it is cheaper labour than what they can readily 
get in India. Even for domestic services, if an Indian maid servant charges Rs. 2,000 
per month, the illegally arrived girl from Khulna, Kushtia or Faridpur would accept 
Rs. 1,500. 

In manufacturing or construction work, the infiltrators undercut as many Indian 
Muslim workers as Hindu workers. The author's eyes were truly opened to the 
problem when his room bearer at the Bengal Club in Kolkata complained some 
years ago. His name was Zainal Abedin. Although originally from Bhagalpur, the 
family had settled for decades in Burdwan in West Bengal. They were mostly 
masons as were their relatives. Their wage was at least Rs.65 per day until a horde 
of people arrived from Faridpur. Some of them also happened to be masons. Out 
of helplessness, they agreed to work for Rs.45. The result was that the Zainal clan 
had to either go without work, or fall in line with the level of infiltration wages. 

Understandably bitter about his brothers' wages being undercut, Zainal went on 
to explain that when people migrate, they do so with the help of their relatives or 


Hindu Masjids 

friends who invariably belong to the same religion. They also seek work and wages 
through similar contacts who are also Muslim. Inevitably, the jobs targeted first are 
those being performed by Muslims. In Zainal's opinion, infiltration hits Muslims 
more than Hindus. How far he was right, one does not know. In the Rajya Sabha, 
Muslim members did not protest when the issue came up in the house during 1 999. 

One wonders why, especially after hearing Zainal's tale of woe, the poor were 
undercut by the poorer. Eventually, a friendly journalist explained that the commu- 
nists have a vested interest in poverty. Unless the working class remains poor, it 
would not remain the proletariat seeking communist shelter. They could turn into 
petit bourgeois. An increasing number of poor people is the fertile soil that a com- 
munist party seeks, according to the journalist. 

Sri Krishna is unlikely to suffer the indifference of our political leaders. He 
would go to the heart of the problem and ask the government of Bangladesh to 
please secure or seal their country's borders so that infiltrators do not flow out of 
the country. He would ask our government to be strict when addressing Dhaka. To 
say that if more and more of your people keep coming to India, we are likely to 
need more and more water for agriculture and for them to drink. How should we 
make up for the shortage? 

Very reluctantly, perhaps by sending less water from the Ganga into the river 
Padma at the Farakka barrage. True, there is the treaty of 12 December 1996 
between Bangladesh and India signed by Sheikh Hasina and H.D. Deve Gowda. 
The text of the treaty opens with the words: determined to promote and strengthen 
their relations of friendship and good neighbourliness and inspired by the common 
desire of promoting the well being of their people. Very noble objectives indeed! 

According to this water sharing treaty, India is expected to release a minimum 
quantity of its Ganga waters through the Farraka barrage into river Padma between 
1 January and 31 May every year. In other words, Bangladesh is assured of water 
supply in one of its main rivers even during the dry season. If the availability in the 
flow of the Ganga is 70,000 cusecs or lower, Padma gets at least 50 percent. If the 
flow is greater, Padma is to get at least 35,000 cusecs. If the total is over 75,000, 
the river Bhagirathi would take 40,000 and the rest would be allowed to flow into 
the Padma. 

Sri Krishna would take the view that Gangotri in Uttraanchal and the Ganga 
flows all the way in Indian territory. The water therefore belongs to Hindustan. As 



it happens, Bangladesh has plenty of rivers and water. In fact, more than it requires 
for a greater part of the year. Nevertheless, the government of India has been gen- 
erous enough to allot so much of the Gangajal, and even sign a treaty. 

In reciprocation as well as in the light of noble sentiments enunciated at the 
beginning of the text of the treaty, the Bangladesh government should also conduct 
its relations with India in a fair and friendly manner. Allowing infiltrators to flow 
out of the country and undercut the poor in India is neither fair nor friendly. In any 
case, water is used by the infiltrators. To that extent, the Indian government should 
be free to curtail the outflow into the Padma. If in the process, the districts of Kush- 
tia, Faridpur, Jessore or Khulna are subjected to water shortages, Dhaka should 
make it up by diverting water from one of the Bangladeshi rivers. The Brahmapu- 
tra, for example, has unlimited supply. 

The subtlety and sweetness with which Sri Krishna would put across his argu- 
ment to Dhaka, there would be no answer other than compliance, which is why we 
need his genius! 

Equally, his impartiality between religions and countries would also help in 
dealing with an even more serious problem that arises from time to time in Bang- 
ladesh. Hindus are harassed, their daughters are abducted and if they do not move 
out, some member or the other of the family is killed. Members of the Bangladeshi 
elite try to cover up these crimes with the help of a facile argument. That the vic- 
tims were not the target because they were Hindus, but because they were support- 
ers of an opposing political party. 

This argument has been widely bandied about in the riots that took place espe- 
cially during September 2001. Most Hindus were supposed to be supporters of 
Sheikh Hasina as opposed to Begum Khaleda. When there have been no elections 
and yet riots have taken place, another argument that is used is interesting. Those 
Hindus who had left Bangladesh or rather East Pakistan, were generally landless. 
Those left behind now are mostly property owners and are therefore a temptation 
for the poor Muslims to attack, in order to expel them. 

Sri Krishna is unlikely to allow himself to get bogged down in a point to point 
argument. He is more likely to quote Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah and several of his 
staunch followers who considered an exchange of population as an integral part of 
the partition of India in 1947. He would simply put it to the. leaders in Dhaka that 
the Pakistan of yesterday could well develop into the Bangladesh of tomorrow. 


Hindu Masjids 

Why not therefore follow the wise advice of the Muslim League. It is better late 
than never, would be his entreaty accompanied by a twinkle in his eye. Make no 
mistake, he would add. The League leaders were not being emotional. Nor were 
they prophets who had visualised ethnic cleansing for the first time. They were fully 
equipped with the knowledge of history. They must have known the scale on which 
such cleansing had been undertaken in Europe. Incidentally, ethnic cleansing is 
not a derogatory or a dirty expression. Ethnic cleansing was considered to be legal 
by the Greco-Turkish Treaty of Laussane of 30 January 1923. It meant reciprocal 
emigration of ethnic minorities from one state to another. The idea was first mooted 
in 1913 at the end of the second Balkan War. The Turko-Bulgarian Convention of 
1913 and the Greco-Turkish Agreement of 1 9 1 4 were the forerunners of this treaty. 

The treaty of Laussane consisted of 19 articles. Its first article laid down the 
principal of compulsory exchange in the following words: 

As from 1st May, 1923, there shall take place a compulsory exchange of Turkish 
nationals of Greek Orthodox religion established in Turkish territory, and of Greek 
nationals of the Moslem religion established in Greek territory. These persons 
shall not return to live in Turkey or Greece respectively without the authorisation 
of the Turkish Government or of the Greek Government respectively. 

The Treaty of Lausanne was a recognition of the ground realities that Christian 
Greeks were being pushed out of Turkey under threat of either conversion, or 
death. A group of Muslim enthusiasts, who called themselves Young Turks, had 
decided on a plan of ridding Turkey of, what they called , national minorities. They 
wanted to make their empire a homogenous Turkish state. For this purpose, the 
Armenians had to be exterminated and the Greeks driven out from Turkey. The 
complement of this plan was to persuade the Turkish minorities in the various Bal- 
kan countries to emigrate to Turkey. 

Uncannily, 1914 saw a considerable movement of populations. 1 15,000 Greeks 
were expelled. 85,000 Greeks were deported to the interior of Asia Minor. 1 50,000 
Greeks were driven out of western Anatolia. On the other hand, 1 15,000 Muslims 
left Greece for taking the place of the Greeks who had fled from Turkey. 135,000 
Muslims emigrated from other Balkan countries to Turkey. As extensively set out 
by Stephen P. Ladas 70 in his book The Exchange of Minorities Bulgaria, Greece 
and Turkey, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1932, over a million Christian 
Greeks had been cleansed out between 1912 and 1923. The Young Turks had 
called this process the Ottomanisation of Turkey. 



After the end of World War 1 and the defeat of the Ottoman empire, Allied pow- 
ers led by Britain and France, asked the Sultan's government to take back a million 
Greeks. Istanbul rejected the proposal out of hand. The result was the Treaty of 
Lausanne and especially its first article which provided for compulsory emigration. 
Evidently, a great deal of home work went into the drafting of this treaty. The proc- 
ess was described as long and laborious. Nevertheless, the problem of compulsory 
reciprocal emigration was thought through. 

Within a month of the treaty being signed, a joint or a mixed commission was 
envisaged for supervising the exchange of population, but also for the liquidation 
of the moveable and immoveable properties left behind by the emigre. The valua- 
tion made by the commission, or the basis of compensation was to be paid to the 
emigres by the government of the country which they were leaving. 

For us Indians, this chapter of eastern Europe is of interest from another angle. 
Former Viceroy Lord Curzon who went on to become Britain's Foreign Secretary, 
played a leading role in the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Lausanne. The eth- 
nic cleansing was carried out in a number of countries in eastern Europe. An 
exchange of populations between Greece and Bulgaria was on a particularly large 
scale. As was from Macedonia to Bulgaria. The total number of people thus 
affected in the first quarter of the 20th century, would run into millions. The point 
that emerges is that the leaders of the Muslim League were au fait with this history 
and thus knew the practicality of what they were demanding of the Congress lead- 
ers, who probably could not grasp the import of the demand. Without even attempt- 
ing to think through the problem, led by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, 
they rejected the demand out of hand, on grounds of secularism. 

Incidentally, Babasaheb Ambedkar, then in political isolation, had given the 
problem considerable thought. He had concluded that an exchange of populations 
was an inevitable corollary of partition. That was the only way to ensure peace and 
goodwill between the subcontinent's Hindus and Muslims. In his book Pakistan or 
the Partition of India reprinted by the government of Maharashtra, Mumbai , 1990, 
he has taken pains to argue the pros and cons of a reciprocal exchange. 

Bangladesh is an over populated country and its leadership is palpably aware of 
the nation's poor land man ratio. At the same time, it knows that birth control is 
difficult in a society which is largely committed to the tenets of the Holy Quran, 
which permits no contraception except coitus interruptus. An inevitable target for 
targetting Bangladeshi population would be the Hindus and their ethnic cleansing. 


Hindu Masjids 

The worst fears are that the Pakistan of yesterday could be the Bangladesh of 
tomorrow and what then happens to the population of India? The communal equa- 
tion in our country and the tragic plight of those who may be uprooted from their 
homes and property. Since the return of Khaleda Begum and her BNP, it is appar- 
ent that the process has begun. How far and how soon it will proceed is to be seen. 

33 Prevail Over Pakistan 

Let us now consider the outstanding feature of Sri Krishna's many strategic sug- 
gestions during the Mahabharat war that met with remarkable success. Probably, 
he would adopt similar strategies for dealing with the present problems of Hindus- 
tan. His speciality was to spot a critical susceptibility of an adversary. For example, 
he zeroed in on the oath whereby Bhishma Pitamah could never fight against any 
female or eunuch. Dronacharya's inordinate love for his son Ashwathama, or the 
curse whereby Kama would suffer a lapse of memory about the secret of how best 
to fight back, or Duryodhan's physical invulnerability, except for his thighs, were 
ongoing susceptibilities. 

As far as Pakistan is concerned, Sri Krishna would look for its greatest suscep- 
tibility. With his genius as well as lack of inhibitions, would he not focus on the 
basis which gave birth to the country: the well known two-nation theory? That the 
Muslims of the sub-continent are a nation apart from the rest of its people presum- 
ably including the Christians, Parsees, Jews et al. The supreme Muslim leader 
Mohammed Ali Jinnah, was faithful to the theory and suggested that there be an 
exchange of populations. That all the Muslims should, bag and baggage, migrate 
to Pakistan. In exchange, all the non-Muslims should come to Hindustan. Even 
Ambedkar 71 had proposed partition with complete transfer of populations of Mus- 
lims and Hindus. 

However, prominent non-Muslim leaders ignored Jinnah's suggestion because 
they believed in an one nation theory: that all the people of the sub-continent 
belong to the same nation. Consistent with this belief, they set up a non-theocratic 
Hindustan or rather Bharat, where all religions would be treated as equal. Later the 
word secular became popular. Muslim Leaguers continued with their faith in the 
two-nation theory. They made their state an Islamic one and created conditions 
which would induce, if not compel, Hindus to leave and go to Hindustan. The west- 


Hindu Mas/ids 

ern wing of Pakistan was, within a year or two, rid of nearly all Hindus. This proc- 
ess was known as ethnic cleansing in the aftermath of World War I. Cleansing of 
Hindus in the eastern wing of Pakistan was slower, and not as widespread nor as 
comprehensive, even before it became Bangladesh. Nevertheless, the figures are 
devastating for an Indian as Taslima Nasrin 72 (in her book Lajja) has said. In 1 94 1 , 
the area now comprising Bangladesh, Muslims were 70 percent of the population, 
while Hindus were 28.3 percent. In 1951, Muslims were 77 percent and Hindus 
were 22 percent. In 1961, Muslims constituted 80 percent and Hindus 19 percent. 
In 1974, there were 85 percent Muslims and 12 percent Hindus. In 1991, Muslims 
were 87 percent, and Hindus approximately 12 percent. What do we understand 
from these figures? That every year the number of Muslims was increasing, while 
that of Hindus was decreasing. What is happening to the Hindus? Where are they 
going? To India? 

Leaders of India also stuck to their notion of secularism. As a result, no real 
exchange of populations took place and the movement was rather one sided. Fair 
enough, except that Muslims who remained in Hindustan did not fully accept the 
reality: that they had to either amalgamate body and soul with secular India or 
migrate to Pakistan. The leaders of India, with the exception of Sardar Vallabhbhai 
Patel, failed to deliver the obvious message to all Muslims which explains the phe- 
nomenon of Pakistan demanding Kashmir, most Kashmiri Muslims wishing to 
secede from India, and above all, Muslim leaders in Hindustan being sympathetic 
to Kashmiri sentiments. 

If Sri Krishna were in command, he would tell Pakistan that it could have Kash- 
mir provided it was prepared to carry the two-nation theory to a logical conclusion 
and accept that the remaining Muslims in India would go to Pakistan. It can also 
send its surveyors to every masjid in India and inquire from the imam whether- 
Kashmiris could secede from India, and their local followers move to Pakistan. The 
result of the survey would enable Islamabad to decide whether to pursue its demand 
for Kashmir, or to drop it forever. Thus, Sri Krishna would let the Muslims of India 
as well as the government of Pakistan decide rather than force his wishes on others. 

V Domination versus Accommodation 

There is a widely held perception in India, that since Muslim invasions first took 
place, the Hindus almost invariably have had to fall back. Seldom have they been 
able to get back at the invaders and retrieve losses. Islam in Europe offers a sharp 
contrast. First, the Muslim invader was not able to penetrate Europe on the same 
scale as he did in India. Even when he succeeded and conquered, he was paid back 
in his own coin, sooner or later. Whether in the Balkans, or in Greece, or earlier in 
Spain, it is the same story of a leopard eventually getting back on another leopard. 
Like met like. One defeated the other, killed and conquered, but neither was left 
traumatised to the extent of losing creative abilities as happened to the Hindu be- 
tween the 13th and 19th centuries. 

The Moors invaded the south of Spain in 710 AD. After flourishing for some 
four centuries, they declined considerably, even though the formal end of Muslim 
rule in the Iberian peninsula took place in 1481, Similarly, in eastern Europe the 
defeat of Serbians in the historic battle of Kosova in 1389 had similar results. 

Thereafter one by one, a total of twelve Christian principalities fell to Muslim 
invaders. The seat of the Byzantine empire, Constantinople, was conquered in 
1453, and the name subsequently Islamised to Istanbul. But unlike in India, Mus- 
lim rule did not last long in almost all principalities. Eleven of them had become 
free as the following table shows: 

Hungary 1699 

Banat 1718 

Bessarabia 1812 

Romania 1829 

Greece 1830 

Bosnia 1878 


Hindu Masjids 

Cyprus 1878 

Serbia 1 878 

Crete 1878 

Bulgaria 1 885 

Albania 1913 

In the words of Stephen P. Ladas, the First Balkan War was short and decisive. 
When an armistice was declared in December, 1912, the Ottoman Empire had lost 
practically all its European territories except Constantinople. 

34 Islam in Europe 

During a journey from Kolkata to Delhi the author had to tell a leftist co-passenger, 
that his prejudice against nationalism, regretfully meant that they had a soft corner 
for anything transnational. Workers of the world unite is undoubtedly preferred but 
as second best they appear to favour pan-Islamism or the world ummah. Otherwise, 
it is difficult to fathom the blind admiration for the martial qualities of a Muslim 
soldier, even though Muslims have often won remarkable victories, but that prob- 
ably is not the explanation of the success of Islamic invasions; conquests and rule 
over large tracts of Hindustan for so many centuries. 

Possibly, it is the Hindu worldview whereby all living beings are a part of their 
universe and their belief that their souls transmigrate. Which explains the Hindu 
preference for nonviolence and reluctance to kill. This could be at the bottom of 
Muslim success in India. If the credit is to be given to the Muslim military genius, 
why did it not achieve similar success in Europe? They made innumerable attempts 
at doing in Europe what they did to Hindustan. 

The first Muslim invasion of Europe took place as early as 710AD when the 
Moors crossed over to southern Spain. Later, led by the Ottomans, many attempts 
were made to capture eastern Europe. Some success was achieved in Romania, Ser- 
bia, Bulgaria and Macedonia. But eventually every time Christians got back what 
they had lost to Muslims. The exceptions have been Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania 
and, of course, what is now the capital of Turkey, Istanbul, which is just inside 
Europe. Does this mean that in Europe like met like? To convince leftists, three 
descriptions follow of Islamic adventures in Europe along with their results. 

Seven Centuries of Moorish Rule in Southern Spain 

The decline of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman empire centred in Constantinople 


Hindu Masjids 

was hastened by the aggressive vigour of Islamic Arabs. Large areas of North 
Africa fell to the armies of the Umayyad Khalifa al-Wahid I based in Damascus. 
By 711 AD, the Arabs had decisively defeated Roderick, the Visigothic king in 
southern Spain. The victorious general was Tariq ibn Ziyad who rushed to capture 
Toledo where he believed the legendary treasure of King Solomon was located. 

At the time, Spain was easy to dominate because the comparative newcomers 
Goths and the traditional Hispano-Romans, although both Christians, were jealous 
of their differences. Before Tariq was recalled by the khalifa to the east, the Moors 
had most of the Iberian peninsula under their influence. By 756 AD, the distant con- 
trol of the khalifa via his governor in North Africa, had been replaced by Abdar- 
Rahman I who founded a dynasty which lasted until 929 AD. It was called the 
Andalusian Umayyad dynasty. After that, the control of Spain reverted to the khi- 
lafat which by then had been taken over by an Abbasid king based in Baghdad from 
an Umayyad in Damascus. The seat of the Umayyad khalifas was Damascus. The 
new regime was know as the khilafat or Caliphate of Cordoba or Qurtubah. 

Direct Arab rule was largely confined to Andalusia or southern Spain 
with Granada as the centre. Over the rest of the peninsula, Christian principalities 
continued to exist. In times of a strong Arab ruler, they were subservient to Gra- 
nada. At other times, they even fought the Muslims. Many a Christian was con- 
verted especially in southern Spain. When the Moorish conquest took place, only 
about 50,000 of them were estimated to have immigrated. The rest, approximately 
four million of the Spanish population was Christian. The ratio had changed signif- 
icantly during Muslim rule although figures are not available. 

The culture of the peninsula was greatly influenced by Islam since it was vibrant 
in the early centuries of its life. Christianity was passing through a passive phase 
during that period. In the 9th and 10th centuries, Arabic literature flourished. 
Poetry was a greater favourite than prose. The golden phase, if it could be so called, 
was during the reign of the poet king al-Mutained. The treatment of Christians 
however was oppressive, as lucidly set out in The Oxford History of Islam. 74 It 

The most pious Muslims refrained from speaking to the infidels except at a dis- 
tance. If a Muslim and Christian met on a public road, the Christian always had to 
give way to the Muslim. Houses of Christians had to be lower than those of Mus- 
lims. An "infidel" Christian could never employ a Muslim in service. It was forbid- 
den for Christians to learn the Quran or to speak about it to their children, as it was 

Domination versus Accommodation 


forbidden for them to speak about Christ with Muslims. Christians could not build 
new churches or monasteries or repair old ones if they deteriorated, although they 
could provide minimal maintenance. Churches and chapels had to be kept open day 
and night should a Muslim traveller wish to find lodging. Church bells could only 
be sounded softly, voices could not be raised in prayer, and no cross could be 
placed outside of any building. A priest could not carry a cross or gospel in a visible 
manner in case he should pass a Muslim. Christians were buried in their own cem- 
eteries, far from Muslims, and funeral processions could not pass through Muslim 
areas. A Muslim who converted to Christianity was immediately sentenced to death, 
even if he had formerly been a Christian who converted to Islam. Islamic authori- 
ties, concerned that Muslim society not be contaminated and in the attempt to con- 
tain rebellion, forced Mozarabs (Christians who adopted Arabic culture, language 
and lived under the Moorish rule in Spain) to live in special quarters. 

With the passage of time, the vigour of the Muslim rulers ebbed. In the 12th cen- 
tury, Christians inflicted several defeats on them and gradually reconquered Jaen, 
Cordoba, Seville, Murcia, Valencia and a number of other towns across Spain. 
Another decisive factor was the amalgamation of the Christian principalities of 
Aragon and Castile. As described in the Oxford History, in 1474 Ferdinand II of 
Aragon and Isabella of Castile, husband and wife, succeeded to conjoint but sepa- 
rate thrones. For the first time in nearly eight centuries the Iberian peninsula was 
governed by one united authority, the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. 
The king and queen were to be remembered as "the Catholic monarchs, " a meas- 
ure of their dedication to the reuniting of all of Spain under Christendom. By 1492, 
they had recovered Granada, the last stronghold of Muslim occupation. With that 
conquest the struggle for control of Andalusia, which had continued between Mus- 
lims and Christians for some eight centuries, ended with a victory for Christianity 
and control of the Iberian peninsula. 

Soon, except for Granada and the tiny area of Crevillente, no independent 
Islamic dominion remained. The complete disappearance of Muslim rule had to 
wait until 1481 when Sultan Muley Hacen refused to pay the annual tribute to his 
Catholic overlord and consequently his principal fortified town of Zahara was 
»eized. Before long, the last bastions of Andalusian Islam were liquidated. 

The cardinal reason for describing this phase of Spanish history is to highlight 
hat this part of Europe was conquered but also recovered from the Muslims. This 
> in sharp contrast to the Indian experience wherein once lost, the Hindu could sel- 
om get back his kingdom. 


Hindu Mas] ids 

Greece Restored to Christians in 1829 

Christians across eastern Europe consider Tuesday an unpropitious day of the 
week. It was on a Tuesday, 29th May, 1453 that Candarli Halil Pasha, the Turk, 
breached the walls of Constantinople and Turkish hordes were allowed to loot the 
city for three full days. In the words of Professors Vamik D. Volkan and Norman 
Itzkowitz, Mehmet, the Ottaman Sultan, allowed his troops three days of pillaging 
in accordance with the dictates of Islamic law. Then he restored order as a pre-req- 
uisite to turning the city into the greatest capital of the Islamic world. Later Con- 
stantinople was renamed as Istanbul. Although the overwhelming number of its 
citizens are Muslim, the city still houses the senior most among the patriarchs of 
the Eastern Church. So dear is the former Constantinople to Christians. 

As recently as February 1992, Bulgarian academicians sought an assurance that 
the Turks were not coming back! This demand was in response to a suggestion at 
an international conference held in Sofia. A few delegates had said that post-com- 
munist Bulgaria might have something to learn from the modern Turkish state. 
Such was Christian memory against Islamic occupation of their country. 

Similarly, Serbians are unable to forget their defeat and humiliation in and after 
1389 when the Turks defeated them at Kosovo. As reported by some authors, on 
the 600th anniversary of this event, an ambitious Serbian Communist leader, 
Slobodan Milosevic, reactivated the Serbs'anguish, declaring at Kosovo, 'Never 
again!' and the coffin of the defeated Serbian commander began a year long pil- 
grimage, visiting every village in the country. Ironically, this is the same leader 
who has now been charged with crimes of ethnic cleansing by the International 
Court of Justice at the Hague. 

It is uncanny that in distant England, the famous leader of the Liberal Party and 
several times prime minister William Ewart Gladstone 75 was moved by the repres- 
sion unleashed by the Ottoman forces in Bulgaria. He promptly came out with a 
pamphlet. To quote: they are upon the whole, from the black day when they first 
entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity. Wherever they 
went a broad line of blood marked the track behind them; and as far as their 
dominion reached, civilization disappeared from view. 

The atrocities that provoked various reactions in several countries deserve to be 
recounted. In May 1 876, the Ottoman Turks resorted to killing of Christians in Bul- 
garia as punishment for rebelling in order to win freedom for themselves. The esti- 

Domination versus Accommodation 


mated numbers liquidated ranged between 35,000 to 60,000. Christian casualties 
were, in any case, numerous enough for William Gladstone to publish his views. 

An example of the long term oppression of Christian subjects is best quoted 
from the book Turks & Greeks. While it is true that the dhimmis orzimmis, includ- 
ing the Greeks, were subject to sumptuary laws that limited what they could wear 
(they were intended for a dual purpose - both to remind the dhimmis of their infe- 
rior position and to prevent them from passing as Muslims, especially as Muslims 
of high rank). For example, neither group could ride horses or carry arms. It is 
also true that the dhimmis were restrained from building new places of worship; 
however, they could maintain old places in good repair. Christians could not ring 
their church bells. Islam punishes apostasy with death which rendered it difficult 
for non-Muslims to make converts among the Muslims, but Muslims were under no 
such prohibition in seeking to make converts among the dhimmis. 

But for the greed of the Ottoman rulers everyone probably would have been con- 
verted to Islam, as in Turkey. The catch was that the dhimmis or protected kafir cit- 
izens paid jizyah or poll tax. Whereas those converted to Islam would not pay the 
levy thus denying a large chunk of revenue to the Ottoman exchequer. To quote 
from CM. Woodhouse, 76 London, 1968, the Turks had no desire to lose the heavy 
taxes Christians ceased to pay if they became Moslem. Woodhouse has been 
quoted in the book Turks and Greeks. 

The Ottoman Turks were equally ruthless with churches as they were with 
Christians. To quote: The church ofSt.Sophia in Constantinople was, at the time of 
the city 's conquest, the sacred architectural masterpiece of the Christian world, 
unlike anything previously seen by the Seljuk or Ottoman Turks. It was said by 
Greeks to have been made by divine powers according to a heavenly design, and it 
struck awe in the hearts of the Turkish conquerors. Begun by Constantine in 325 
and rebuilt by Theodosius and Justinian in the wake of fires and earthquakes, the 
basilica had been the setting for magnificent celebrations, such as coronations and 
royal weddings.... Christianity's sacred building, with its soft curves and its light- 
ing that suggested infinity, was turned into a mosque and much later would become 
a museum.... Following older Islamic custom in urban development, Mehmet the 
Conqueror urged his highest ranking officials to begin the process of converting 
Christian Constantinople into Muslim Istanbul by taking the crowns of the city 's 
major hills and other important urban sites and constructing there Islamic com- 
plexes consisting of mosques, religious schools (medreses), soup kitchens (ima- 
rets), hospitals, and baths. 

Domination versus Accommodation 


After the Christians reconquered Spain from Muslim rule, many mosques were changed 
into churches. In Seville, for example, the top of the fifty-meter-high minaret of the Almo- 
hed mosque, built from 1 1 84 to 1 1 98, was remodelled and transformed into a cathedral bell- 

(Courtesy Oxford University Press, New York: John L. Esposito The Oxford History of Islam, 1999) 


Hindu Masjids 

The word trauma is repeatedly mentioned in the histories of east European coun- 
tries which were in conflict with Muslims. They were no doubt deeply wounded 
and humiliated. The atrocities perpetrated on the Christians were also cruel and 
severe. The tale is not really different from the one that can be told about the Hindu 
trauma. The question then is: what was different about the European experience as 
compared with the Hindu's? The critical difference was in the response. Europeans 
hit back and retrieved what they had lost. Hindus could seldom retaliate. 

First let us take the Greeks, who began their uprising in the Morea or the Pelo- 
ponnesus. There they massacred every Turk they could lay their hands on. Ottoman 
retaliation matched their violence, and as the revolt continued, the Ottoman sultan 
sought help from Mehmet Ali, his vassal in Egypt. In 1827, it appeared that Meh- 
met Ali's forces would capture the last rebel strongholds, but by that time the Greek 
War of Independence had become an emotional as well as a political issue for west- 
ern powers. Britain, France, and Russia intervened and sank the combined Turkish 
and Egyptian fleet anchored at Navarino in western Greece. With its fleet 
destroyed, the Ottomans were forced to sign the Treaty of Adrianople or Edirne in 
1 829. By this treaty, territory which would ultimately become part of the new state 
of Romania became a virtual Russian protectorate, and the new small state of 
Greece was created. 

In due course the Serbs, Romanians and Bulgarians aided by Tzarist Russia also 
revolted. Russia pushed on with its plans to attack the Ottoman Empire, declaring 
war on 24 April 1877. The Ottomans were unable to raise any support from the 
European powers and left alone to face the Russians. It was a complete rout, except 
for the resistance of the city of Plevna under Osman Pasha, with the Russians 
advancing all the way to Istanbul - to the town of San Stefano which today is 
Yesilkoy, the location of Istanbul's airport. On 3 March 1878, the Treaty of San 
Stefano ended hostilities, but the terms of the treaty were too harsh, allowing for 
an enlarged Serbia, an autonomous Bulgaria extending from the Black Sea to the 
Aegean and an independent Romania. 

In 1878 Bosnia Herzegovina Returns to Christian Rule 

In 1875, a rebellion by Christian Serbs ultimately resulted in ending the Ottoman 
rule over Bosnia Herzegovina. The Bulgarian revolution of 1876 and the Russo- 
Turkish war of 1877-78 helped decide the fate of Ottoman Bosnia. The sultan had 
to sign the Treaty of San Stephano. This was followed by the Congress of Berlin 
which awarded Bosnia Herzegovina to the Austro-Hungarian empire. It took upto 

Domination versus Accommodation 


2 1 st April, 1 879 for Sultan Abdulhamid II to formally accept the status of this prin- 
cipality as an Austrian protectorate. These events are historic, but the important 
point was the replacement of Islamic rule by Christian rule. Indian history has sel- 
dom witnessed such replacement. 

Ottoman rule had lasted over four centuries. Its beginning in 1463 is best 
recounted in the words of Colin Heywood. 77 The History of Bosnia and Herze- 
govina in the first 350 years of Ottoman rule is a difficult, contentious, and still not 
fully articulated subject. There were domination and conquest; conversion, migra- 
tion, and revolt; economic growth and decline, intermittent conflict, and deep- 
seated social transformation; and, to a considerable extent, cultural continuity. At 
the conclusion of a long chapter (22) that he devotes to the campaign undertaken 
by Sultan Mehmet II in 1463 that brought about the definitive Ottoman conquest of 
much of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ottoman historian Tursun Beg, who had 
taken part in the campaign in the entourage of his patron, the Grand Vizier Mah- 
mud Pasa, remarks: 

All in all, in this blessed campaign, four lands (vilayet) were conquered and 
incorporated (into the empire): a provincial governor (sancak-begi) and judges 
(kadilar) were appointed; commissioners (eminler) were placed in charge of the 
mining operations, and the canonically lawful poll-tax (cizye-I ser't) was levied on 
the (non-Muslim) subject population (re'aya). From this auspicious campaign, 
(the sultan) came (again) to Istanbul, the Abode of Government, with immeasura- 
ble booty, and riches without end. 

The essay goes on to say: The Bosnian campaign of 1463 constituted a text- 
book example of Ottoman methods of conquest: brilliantly organized, rapidly con- 
cluded, and successful in both its military and political objectives. The Bosnians, 
lulled into a false sense of security by the granting of a spurious fifteen year truce, 
were kept unaware of the sultan 's intentions. The Ottoman army with the Sultan at 
its head entered central Bosnia and made for the strong fortress at Bobovac, 
which, according to one version of events, had already been taken by the advance 
guard. The sultan advanced to Travnik, where he established his camp. Visoko and 
a large number of other fortresses surrendered, for the most part without a strug- 
gle. The districts that they had controlled became the centers of Ottoman prov- 
inces, in which the infidels paid cizye or poll tax. 

Neighbouring Serbia and Montenegro were also conquered in the 15th century, 
about the same time as Bosnia by Sultan Abdulhamid. Several times during the 


Hindu Masjids 

18th century, Christian Serbs of both these principalities rebelled, first for auton- 
omy and then for complete independence from Ottoman rule which was achieved 
in 1878. In 191 8, after World War I, the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovens 
was proclaimed as Yugoslavia. In 1945, after the defeat of Adolf Hitler a federal 
socialist republic was proclaimed under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito. The fed- 
eration comprised six republics of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedo- 
nia, Slovenia and Montenegro along with the autonomous provinces in Serbia of 
Kosovo and Vojvodina. 

Nevertheless, as pointed out by Volkan and Itzkowitz, 78 the trauma induced by 
the Ottoman conquests remains a living part of the national psyche in the Balkans 
as well as Greece. The old wounds reopen from time to time. Even in 200 1 , Kosovo 
was burning. Neither Bosnia nor Serbia have yet attained lasting peace. 

35 Jerusalem 

The Crescent Confronts Star of David and the 

Jerusalem can be called the holiest of holy cities. Since all the three Judaic or Se- 
mitic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, lay claim to its sacredness. In 
June, 1967, having captured the old part of the city from Jordan, the Israeli deputy 
prime minister Yigal Allon reportedly said that the world must reconcile itself to 
the fact that the city has at last returned to the nation that founded it. Henry Cattan 
contradicts this claim. True, the Israelis, after their release from Egypt in 1200BC, 
settled in the holy land. Even truer, King David, after capturing the city from the 
Canaanites in 1000BC, made it his capital and developed it. The original founders 
were Canaanites who owed suzerainty to the Pharoahs of Egypt. 

King David was succeded by his son Solomon who constructed the first famous 
temple which was completed in 962 BC. After his 40 year reign, the Jewish state 
split and in due course became extremely weak to be repeatedly invaded. As 
recorded by Albert M. Hyamson, Jerusalem was periodically besieged, taken and 
sacked by the Philistines, the Arabs, the Syrians, the Babylonians and the Egyp- 
tians. In 587 BC the Babylonians under their great king Nebuchadnezzar attacked 
and destroyed Jerusalem and burnt the temple. 

After 538 BC, Cyrus, king of Persia, captured Jerusalem and had the temple 
rebuilt. Two centuries later came Alexander the Great who converted the Jewish 
temple into a worship hall for Jupiter. In 40BC, the Romans conquered Palestine, 
called it Judea and nominated Herod as a vassal king. In 4BC, soon after his death, 
the Romans took over governance directly. In due course, their rule became oppres- 
sive enough for the Jews of Judea to revolt several times. After the first revolt 
between 66 and TOAD, Titus, the Roman governor, destroyed Jerusalem as well as 


Hindu Masjids 

the temple. Come 135 AD and Emperor Hadrian had the holy city rebuilt, but did 
not allow any Jews to settle in it. Jerusalem remained without Jews, not to speak of 
their temple, until its conquest by Muslim Arabs. So chequered has been its history. 

We have overshot the birth of Jesus Christ by several centuries at Bethlehem not 
far away. It was at Jerusalem that the son of God preached and was eventually cru- 
cified and buried. How could any place be holier for Christians? In 3 12 AD, 
Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Eleven years later, Christianity 
was made the official religion of the eastern Roman empire now called Byzantium. 
He had two magnificient churches erected at Jerusalem, the church of the Holy 
Sepulchre and the church of Golgotha both of which were consecrated in 336 AD. 

The queen mother Helena discovered in the vicinity the true cross on which Lord 
Jesus had been crucified. To commemorate the discovery, she had the Church of 
Nativity built at Bethlehem and the church of Ascension on the Mount of Olives. 
Any wonder that Christian pilgrims began to flock to Jerusalem and the Holy Land 
around it. But that did not mean that the Jews had given up their claim to the city 
they believed they had founded. 

In 614 AD, the Persian king Chosroes II happened to overrun Syria and many 
Jews who were anxious to regain their holy city, induced the conqueror to pillage 
Jerusalem. Its inhabitants were massacred, the churches of Golgotha and the Holy 
Sepulchre were destroyed and the true cross was taken away. Thirteen years later, 
the Byzantian emperor Heraclius retaliated by defeating Chosroes and recovered 
the true cross. As in the days of emperors Hadrian and Constantine, Jews were for- 
bidden from entering Jerusalem. No more than ten years were to elapse before 
Muslim Arabs captured the holy city. 

Peace and goodwill now prevailed between the Muslim rulers and Christian sub- 
jects. For example, the Holy Roman emperor Charlemagne was allowed to restore 
the church of the Holy Sepulchre. At the turn of the millennium, the ruler and cal- 
iph happened to be Hakem Bi Amr Illah. He began persecuting Christians and 
destroying their churches including the church of the Holy Sepulchre. This led to 
Christian intervention whereby the churches were restored in 1032. Peace, how- 
ever, proved shortlived, as 40 years later the Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem. 
They were fanatical and provoked Pope Urban II to launch the crusades. 

The first holy war proved to be a three year campaign which eventually ended 
in a Christian victory on 7th June, 1099. The credit goes largely to the French who 

Domination versus Accommodation 


contributed the most by way of men, money and leadership. Godfrey of Bouillon 
was chosen to rule Jerusalem and its environments under the title 'Defender of the 
Holy Sepulchre.' This Latin rule lasted for 44 years. In 1 146, St Bernard an influ- 
ential French Abbot with the support of King Louis VIII sounded the call for 
another crusade. Emperor Konrad III in Germany also gave wholehearted support. 
By the time King Louis reached Jerusalem, he had only ladies and a few soldiers 
left with him. Konrad' s force was a skeleton of the army that he led out from Ratis- 
bon in Germany; he had hoped to gather more crusaders as he proceeded. The war 
was a rout and in the process the Muslims had avenged themselves. 

In 1189, William, the Archbishop of Tyre, situated in modern Lebanon, visited 
Europe and recounted the humiliation that was being heaped upon the Christians 
by the Muslims. His accounts proved so moving that even the 67 year old Frederick 
Barbarossa, the Holy Roman emperor, set out at once for the holy land. On the way, 
he however drowned in the little river Salef in Silicia. Fortunately, the 3 1 year old 
English king Richard I, the Lion Heart, and the 23 year old French king Philip 
Augustus had also joined the crusade. After some bitter fighting, both King Rich- 
ard and Sultan Saladin realised the futility of continuing the fighting and on 2 Sep- 
tember 1 192 they signed a three year peace which partitioned Palestine. 

The arrangement however did not prove satisfactory over a period of time. 
Although King Richard had liberated several coastal towns of Palestine, Jerusalem 
had been left in Muslim hands. Innocent III, who became Pope in 1 198, demanded 
a fourth crusade. The powerful city state of Venice was persuaded to lead the new 
holy war. Due to the prevarication of the Byzantine rulers, the Venetians had to 
first conquer Constantinople. Having done so, they unfortunately fell prey to the 
temptation of pillaging the treasures of the city. It was not before 1204 that some 
thought was given to the holy war. However, without much fighting, the Christian 
effort collapsed. A fifth crusade was led by the Hungarian King Andrew who 
decided to first capture Damietta at the easternmost mouth of the river Nile. After 
some fighting, it was given up in exchange for an eight year truce which was signed 
between the crusaders and the sultan of Egypt and the Turk, Malik al-Kamil. 

Three more holy wars were fought without any decisive outcome in favour of 
the Christians. Jerusalem still remained, after two centuries of war, in the hands of 
Muslims. Christian pilgrims to the holy land became fewer and fewer. The apolo- 
gists for the crusades however have claimed that but for the holy wars, the Seljuk 
Turks would have been stronger and would have captured Constantinople long 


Hindu Mas] ids 

before 1453, which had in fact provoked Pope Urban II to mobilise for the first cru- 

What has been described so far is of Jerusalem passing from the pagans to the 
Jews to the Romans to the Christians. We now move to the Islamic period and 
describe how Jerusalem was not only ruled by the Muslims but also how it became 
their holy place. In fact, it is the holiest Muslim city after Mecca and Medina. There 
is a rock in the holy city which is believed to bear the mark of the footprint of 
Prophet Muhammad when he ascended to heaven during his night journey. Caliph 
Abdul Malek had a splendid mosque built on the spot. It is known as the Mosque 
of the Dome of the Rock. A mosque called Omari was also built near the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre because that is where the second Caliph Omar had prayed 
during his visit to Jerusalem. So was erected the famous Mosque of Al-Aqsa. Two 
more Haram Al-Sharif or noble shrines were built during the period. These five are 
the sacred sanctuaries which the Muslims usually visit when they go on a pilgrim- 
age to Jerusalem. 

Until the implementation of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, 
Jerusalem remained as a part of the Ottoman empire ruled from Istanbul. The citi- 
zens were a mix of Christians, Jews and Muslims. In 1917, Palestine was released 
from the Ottoman yoke, to be ruled under British mandate, with Jerusalem as the 
capital. Bloody confrontations took place, especially between the Jewish and Mus- 
lim inhabitants, right until 1948 when the British pulled out. Transjordan under 
king Abdullah captured the old part of Jerusalem, while the rest was taken by Israel 
and declared as its capital city. 

It i s difficult to keep count of how many times Jerusalem changed hands. Each 
time, there was bloodshed and most of the time places of worship were either dam- 
aged or desecrated. Even those places which commemorated either the birth of 
Jesus Christ or the final departure of Prophet Muhammad were not spared. So ruth- 
less were the ways of the people who fought one another for the sake of God and 
religion. The readers can judge the value norms of the people who participated in 
the tugs of tussle for Jerusalem and their attitude towards violence, bloodshed and 

36 Taliban 

Example ofDar-ul Islam 

When the Taliban ordered the Hindus in Afghanistan to wear yellow in order not be 
mistaken as Muslims many including senators in the USA felt upset. There was sim- 
ilar outrage earlier during the Bamiyan episode, when rare statues of Lord Buddha 
were destroyed. However much one might disapprove of them, to call the Taliban 
barbaric is incorrect. They are undoubtedly fundamentalist, as well as obscurantist, 
but these elements do not add up to their being barbaric. 

To be made to wear yellow meant being declared as a protected citizen or a 
zimmi. Someone who was not a momin but a non-believer who had paid his taxes 
or jizyah. This tradition of levying poll tax originated in the Holy Quran. A non- 
Muslim subject of a Muslim state belonging to the Jewish, Christian, or Sabean 
creed by the payment of a poll tax, enjoyed security of person and property in a 
Muhammadan country. To adhere to this tradition was to be faithful to the Book. 
In Judaic ethos, humanity has invariably been classified into at least two sections; 
the faithful and non-believers. There were the Jews and the gentiles, the Christians 
and the heathens, the momins and the kafirs. The Taliban was being forthright. 
Christians are theologically discriminatory about the heathens, although in practice 
they are less candid about their beliefs. Nevertheless, evangelists continue to pros- 
elytize in many parts of the world. His Holiness, the Pope, as recently as 2000 AD, 
declared that there was a harvest of souls to be reaped in Asia. It also needs to be 
remembered that Christian theology did not provide any formal option to the non- 
believers. Communists were openly totalitarian and gave no space to any one who 
happened to differ. Any one who was even remotely bourgeois was either exiled or 
liquidated. Whereas the Muslims did allow an alternative by offering to confer a 
zimmi status for those prepared to pay jizyah. The status carried preconditions such 
as wearing yellow for the Jews and blue for the Christians. Hindus and others came 


Hindu Masjids 

to be offered this status after the conquest of Hindustan. The Pact of Umar II signed 
with the Jews and Christians is relevant. Umar II ruled as Khalifa at Mecca between 
7 17 AD and 720 AD. In his endeavour to preserve the integrity of the khilafat or the 
caliphate, he opened many dialogues with other communities. The pact being 
quoted is the result of such a dialogue. What the others conceded to Umar II is 

We shall not build in our cities or in their vicinity any new monasteries, 
churches, hermitages, or monks ' cells. We shall not restore, by night or by day, 
any of them that have fallen into ruin or which are located in the Muslims ' quar- 

We shall keep our gates wide open for the passerby and travellers. We shall 
provide three days 'food and lodging to any Muslims who pass our way. 

We shall not shelter any spy in our churches or in our homes, nor shall we 
hide him from the Muslims. 

We shall not teach our children the Koran. 

We shall not hold public religious ceremonies. We shall not seek to proselyt- 
ise anyone. We shall not prevent any of our kin from embracing Islam if they so 

We shall show deference to the Muslims and shall rise from our seats when 
they wish to sit down. 

We shall not attempt to resemble the Muslims in any way. 

We shall not ride on saddle. 

We shall not wear swords or bear weapons of any kind, or even carry them 
with us. 

We shall not sell wines. 

We shall clip the forelocks of our head. 

We shall not display our books anywhere in the Muslims thoroughfares or in 
their marketplaces. We shall only beat our clappers in our churches very qui- 
etly. We shall not raise our voices when reciting the service in our churches, nor 
when in the presence of Muslims. Neither shall we raise our voices in our 
funeral processions. 

We shall not build our homes higher than theirs. 

Domination versus Accommodation 


In fact, the Taliban are absolute fundamentalists. A fundamentalist is one who 
follows and quotes the holy scriptures in any argument. The expression fundamen- 
talist was first used in the USA soon after World War I, when Charles Darwin's 
theory of evolution had begun to spread. Since it contradicts the teachings of the 
Holy Bible as to how the world came into being, it offended many Christians. The 
orthodox amongst them quoted line and verse from the Bible as to how God created 
the universe in six days and rested on the seventh. The evolutionist liberals called 
these orthodox Christians as fundamentalists. The Taliban in the 21st century epit- 
omizes an example par excellence of fundamentalism. But such absolute faith, 
however ill suited to this century, is not barbarism. Fanatical, zealous, dogmatic, 
bigoted yes but barbaric no. Such condemnation would amount to running down 
one of the world's great religions. 

The Bamiyan episode and the iconoclasm it personified made Hindus virtually 
weep. Hindus feel the same way when they visit the Udaygiri caves near Vidisha 
in Madhya Pradesh. But to someone wedded to another philosophy, such destruc- 
tion must have appeared pious. The cornerstone of the Judaic ethos has been mon- 
otheism or an absolute faith in one god. In the eyes of a Jew, a Christian or a 
Muslim, even a suggestion, or a hint of an alternative deity to his God is abominal. 
Which explains the objection to the sight of an idol or an image for possible wor- 
ship. Prophet Muhammad was so scrupulous that he did not distinguish between an 
idol for worship and an ordinary statue. He did not want to take any chance by 
allowing any discretion of choice to his followers. He therefore did not permit the 
use of imagery whether of animal, man or god. Portraits, statues, paintings etc. 
were forbidden, lest they attracted devotion in competition to Allah. This com- 
mandment applied not only for the future but the Prophet also saw danger even in 
the past, in all idols and statues that existed. 

As the First Encyclopaedia of Islam* 0 puts it, all the accumulation of heathen- 
dom, which had gathered round the Kaba, was now thrust aside. 360 idols are said 
to have stood around the building. When touched with the Prophet 's rod they all 
fell to the ground. The statue of Hubal which 'Amr b. Luhaiy is said to have erected 
over the pit inside the Kaba was removed as well as the representations of the 
prophets. In the light of this command, what the Taliban did at Bamiyan was in 
consonance with the fundamentals of their faith. 

Merely because such distinction today seems incongruous, does not necessarily 
amount to its being barbaric. What the Taliban was doing to the women of Afghan- 
istan also appears unacceptable. Yet it was Islam that in the seventh century res- 


Hindu Masjids 

cued Arabian womenfolk from the degradation of their being mere chattels. A 
woman then formed an integral part of the estate of her husband or father. Hence 
the frequent unions between stepsons and mothers-in-law which were forbidden by 
Islam under the name of mikahu 'l-Maqt or odious marriages. 81 The fault with Tal- 
iban was that they were imposing principles of conduct that were relevant to Mus- 
lims 1,400 years ago in Arabia, and should have changed since. But they insisted 
on being consistent with the pristine fundamentals of Islam. 

37 Separatism in China 

During a fortnight's tour of Chinese cities by air as well as road and rail, the author 
came across only four obvious Muslims. An elderly couple dressed in long robes; 
the man wore a white cap and a beard with shaven upper lip. The lady also wore a 
robe and had a veil thrown over her head. They were visiting the Great Wall. The 
other two, who appeared to be businessmen, were at Beijing airport. All other Mus- 
lims that the author might have seen were sinicised and therefore could not be sep- 
arately identified. 

It is however estimated that there are up to 50 million Muslims in China. Say a 
little less than four percent of the total population of 1,300 million. In any case, the 
Hans comprise 9 1 percent and all the minorities taken together make up the remain- 
ing nine percent including Mongols, Manchus and Tibetans. The Muslim experi- 
ence in China has been long and chequered, ranging from abject subservience to 
complete secession. It is not widely known that Sinkiang, now called Xinjiang 
Uygur Autonomous Region, had seceded from China. In the wake of the revolution 
led by Dr. Sun Yat Sen in 1911, Sinkiang in practice became autonomous, if not 
also independent. 

Between 1925 and 1948 the writ of the Kuomintang (KMT) government of Chi- 
ang Kai-Shek did not run in western China. The Muslim province of Sinkiang went 
to the extent of seceding from the country. This was an example of the Muslim 
desire for a seperate space for the flourishing of Islam. Dar-ul Islam is the first 
choice. Dar-ul Harb is a land under strife. When such a takeover has no prospect, 
Muslims try to set up a separate state. The Muslim community in China could never 
hope to take over the whole country. As soon as Mao Zedong unfurled the commu- 
nist red flag at Peking, now Beijing, in 1949 and restituted central authority, the 
return of Sinkaing to being a province of China could not be far. In January 1945, 
it had officially seceded under the name and style of Eastern Turkistan Republic. 

Hindu Masjids 

Incidentally, local leaders had friendly ties with the neighbhouring Soviet Repub- 
lics of Central Asia. The Sinkiang League for the Protection of Peace and Democ- 
racy, primarily consisting of Muslims, was opposed to the Peoples Republic of 
China when it was inaugurated under the leadership of Mao Zedong in 1949. Dur- 
ing the same year, there was a mysterious airplane crash which killed many of the 
League leaders. 

With the resulting collapse of the League, according to the Encyclopaedia of 
Religion, Burhan and Saiffuddin, Muslim leaders of non-Chinese origin, worked 
out an agreement with the government at Beijing. Thus was inaugurated the Sinki- 
ang Uighur Autonomous Region, with Saifuddin as its first governor. Tibet is also 
an autonomous region and is situated south of Sinkiang or Xinjiang. Sinicisation or 
assimilation appears to be the consistent goal of the government of Beijing. 

The Muslims, on their part, have over the centuries followed a two-fold policy. 
First to increase their population. Second, to preserve their distinct identity. Going 
by the Encyclopaedia, there are records dating back to the Ming dynasty in the 14th 
century. The Mings were quite tolerant; yet they insisted on the Muslims learning 
the Chinese language and adopting their dress. Moreover, tablets had to be erected 
near the mosques pledging the worshippers' loyalty to the Chinese emperor. 

Having done so, the Muslims, induced several members of the community to 
learn Arabic and Persian to be in touch with Islamic theology and other literature. 
They encouraged Hajj or the pilgrimage to Mecca. Since many a Muslim in those 
days was a merchant, interpreter or a horse groom, he had ample opportunity to 
meet his fellow religionists from neighbouring areas. 

Ming rulers encouraged Muslim men to marry Chinese women or rather Han 
women in the hope of gradually assimilating the community. Contrary to Ming 
expectations, the children were brought up as Muslim. As a result, the Islamic com- 
munity grew. Moreover, its wealthy families bought or adopted Chinese boys and 
in due course got them to marry their daughters. Anyone considered a convert from 
the Chinese was called 'Hui' while the non-Chinese were identified by their 
respective ethnic groups like Turk and Kazakh. 

The Manchus, who overthrew the Mings in 1644, were less tolerant. They 
sought to resolve the Muslim problem through an expansionist policy and endeav- 
oured to conquer those parts of Central Asia whose people instigated the Uighur 
Turks against Beijing. During peaceful periods, the Ching or Manchu rulers tried 

Domination versus Accommodation 


to be friendly with the Muslims whether of Sinkiang or of Central Asia. Neverthe- 
less, relations were seldom truly cordial. As an illustration, early in the 18th cen- 
tury, Beijing had to impose a moratorium on the construction of mosques. 
Moreover, ethnic Chinese were made to emigrate and settle in Sinkiang. Ostensibly 
for the purpose of promoting agriculture and mining. 

Not all Manchu efforts were able to achieve assimilation. In the 18th century, 
several Islamic thinkers emerged. The neighbouring province Kansu, now called 
Gansu, produced Ma Ming-Insin who became an eminent Sufi. He belonged to 
Naqshhandi order which is familiar in India also. As Professor Morris Rossabi puts 
it, the ultimate logic of Ma's views was the establishment of a Muslim state along 
China's borders. There were a series of rebellions beginning from 178 1 and carry- 
ing on until 1 832 when a Khwaja Muhammad Yusuf assumed leadership. The most 
devasting of the rebellions however took place in 1 862 in the Shensi area. It was 
led by a Chinese Muslim called Ma Hua-lung. From his base in the Kansu prov- 
ince, he gave a call for independence from China. The Hans therefore increasingly 
suspected the loyalties of their Islamic compatriots. A great deal of gossip flour- 
ished among common people, especially around the Muslim prejudice against liq- 
uor and pork. Nor could the Chinese appreciate the significance behind Ramadan 
fasting and other similar occassions. Any wonder that Sinkiang seceded in 1945. It 
was brought back into the Chinese fold through compulsion after the Maoist revo- 

38 Chisti Inspired Ghauri 

It is not difficult for anyone residing in a particular part of South Delhi to see pil- 
grims going to the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia in New Delhi. The devotees 
are mainly Muslim, but quite a few Hindus also offer prayers there. Similarly, 
Ajmer Sharief is also popular with Hindus. 

Many people who wear secularism on their sleeve feel proud of their Hindu 
community for worshipping at a Muslim shrine. Anyone should have the freedom 
to go to any place where he/she obtains comfort and reassurance. All to the good 
for happiness. But it seems an irony that a lover of his motherland should bend, 
bow and pray before the grave of a man who instigated Muhammad Ghauri to 
invade India and win the second battle of Tarain where Prithviraj Chauhan was 
defeated and killed. It was not an isolated invasion. It inaugurated the spread of for- 
eign rule in Hindustan. 

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti was in the vanguard of Islamic invaders 
who stayed back to rule. According to Maulana Ghulam Ghareeb Nawaz Ajmeri in 
his biography of the Hazrat, (published by Saeed International (Regd), 2000 AD), 
Khwaja Moinuddin entered the boundaries of India in 1191 AD. After a 40 day halt 
at Lahore he moved on towards Delhi and eventually chose to settle at Ajmer. He 
chose a small hill near Anasagar lake, not far from Taragarh fort which was the 
abode of Raja Prithviraj Chauhan. As the raja began to suspect the Khwaja of being 
an undesirable influence he wanted the Khwaja to leave Ajmer. 

Instead of leaving, the Khwaja, according to his biographer, appealed to Allah 
for guidance. In answer to his appeal, he reportedly saw a vision whose message 
was that the raja would be captured alive and his kingdom snatched away. Not long 
thereafter, quite uncannily, Raja Jaichand Rathore of Kanauj began to distance 

Domination versus Accommodation 


himself from Prithviraj, until eventually he withdrew from the alliance. This fis- 
sure, according to Ghareeb Nawaz, opened up an opportunity for Sultan Shahabud- 
din alias Muhammad Ghauri to come back after about two years to India and attack 

In the meantime, continues Ghareeb Nawaz, Ghauri in Afghanistan dreamt one 
night that a saint expressly directed him to attack India and assured him that he 
would be victorious this time over Prithviraj and the sovereignty of India was to be 
bestowed on him. In the previous years, before the arrival of Hazrat Khwaja-e- 
Azam, Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori had been defeated in India by Rajah Prithviraj 
two times and had to flee to his country. In other words, but for the instigation of 
the Khwaja, Ghauri may not have gathered courage to come again. 

On the advice of the Khwaja, Sultan Ghauri, after his arrival in Lahore, sent a 
message to Chauhan that he would not proceed with his invasion and, on the con- 
trary, protect Ajmer, provided Prithviraj agreed to become a Muslim. This message 
proved very provocative and the Raja of Ajmer prepared for a third war with 
Ghauri. Both the armies reached the banks of the Saraswati and faced each other 
across the river. Prithviraj expressed contempt for Ghauri's proposal for a religion 
change and in his reply, according to another biography, 82 (entitled Hindal Vali 
Ghareeb Nawaz, written by Munshi Abdul Hameed Bihari and published by 
Hameedia Book Depot of Dargah Sharief Ajmer 1978) wrote that he had more sol- 
diers than there were stars in the firmament. And more are gathering from various 
directions. It was therefore in the interests of the young Turk and Afghan soldiers 
that you have brought with you that they return home, otherwise, they would stand 
to be massacred in battle. 

Chauhan' s anger was not confined to Ghauri because earlier Hazrat Moinuddin 
had told him at Ajmer that it was in the raja's interest that he convert to Islam. Oth- 
erwise, a big calamity would overtake him. Instead of getting provoked, Ghauri 
resorted to a subterfuge; assured the raja that the proposed invasion was not his 
own idea but he was acting on the advice of his revered brother. On hearing from 
Chauhan, he again sought the brother's instructions and again requested Prithviraj 
for some truce time for a reply. According to Hameed, this conciliatory attitude 
caused the Rajputs to relax. Seeing them thus, Ghauri mobilised his troops the 
same evening and attacked at dawn. So chivalrous and truthful indeed was the dis- 
ciple of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti! Now you see how and why it is sad that so 
many Indians pay their obeisance to the instigator of an invader. 


Hindu Masjids 

Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi was another alim who was enthsiastic about 
expanding the ulema by impoverishing the Kafirs and humiliating them. He felt this 
was particularly necessary because Emperor Akbar, by introducing Din-e-Ilahi, or 
a synthesis of several religions and taking other such measures, had blunted the 
edge of Islam. 

Sirhindi, therefore, recommended at the beginning of the Jahangir reign the re- 
introduction of jizyah as well as spreading the practice of cow slaughter. As lucidly 
set out by Saiyid A.A. Rizvi 83 (in his book, Muslim Revivalist Movements in North- 
ern India published by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd., New Delhi in 
1993), the kafirs should have no parity with the Muslims. They should not consider 
themselves equal to the Muslims and should confine themselves to their own pro- 
fessions. Shariat can be fostered through the sword was the slogan he raised. The 
dishonour of the kafirs was an act of highest grace for the Muslims. The most 
important demand of religion, according to Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi was to 
launch a crusade against the kafirs. 

39 Slavery in Medieval India 

The author grew up with a strange image of slavery, perhaps because he had read 
a biography of Abraham Lincoln as well as seen the epic movie Gone With The 
Wind, which left an implicit impression of slavery in America. He hails from Jafra- 
bad, a fishing village on the south coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat, which was part of 
the kingdom, until 1947, of a slave prince who was popularly known as the Sidi 
Nawab of Janjira. As a result, the image formed was that slaves were black. 

Recently he was shaken out of this mindset by a book called Muslim Slave Sys- 
tem in Medieval India by K.S. Lai 84 (Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi 1994.) Apart 
from many other details, the book lists the prices of slaves in Alauddin Khilji's 
kingdom. The price of a working girl ranged between 5 and 12 tankahs, which 
were probably like the modern rupee. That of a girl suitable for concubinage 20 to 
40 tankahs. The price of a man slave called ghulam ranged between 100 and 200 
tankhas; handsome boys cost 20 to 30 tankhas. A child slave cost between 70 and 
80 tankhas. The slaves were classified according to their looks and working 
capacity. In the case of bulk purchases by traders who had ready money and who 
had the means to carry their flock for sale to other cities, prices were fixed accord- 

It was Muhammad bin Qasim who introduced slavery in India according to the 
chachnama or chronicle by Al Kufi, which is referred to by Lai 85 in another book. 
{The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 1992.) After 
the capture of the fort ofRawar by Qasim the prisoner count was found to be about 
30,000. One-fifth of this including several princesses were sent to Hajjaj, the chief 
general who was stationed in Arabia. His standing instructions to Qasim were to 
give no quarter to infidels but to cut their throats and take the women and children 
as captives. 


Hindu Masjids 

The invaders persisted with the practice of slavery right through the middle ages, 
and in fact till British rulers abolished slavery in India by legislation called Act 5 
of 1843. By this law, British courts were prohibited from enforcing any claims on 
a slave. It was only in 1861 that the Penal Code made the holding of a slave, a 
crime. In effect, slavery enjoyed Islamic legitimacy for some eleven centuries in 

Taking an example of the legitimacy, surah iv.3 of the Holy Quran says that 
Muslims are allowed to cohabit with any of their female slaves. Surah iv.28 permits 
Muslims to take possession of married women if they are slaves. Surah xxiii.5 
excuses Muslims from strict rules of decorum in the presence of their female 

The Dictionary of Islam? 6 (by Thomas Patrick Hughes, Rupa & Company, New 
Delhi, 1999, originally published in 1885 by W.H. Allen in London) sums up the 
Quranic attitude to slavery: all male and female slaves taken as plunder in war are 
the lawful property of their masters. The Hadis or the Traditions of Islam as quoted 
in the Dictionary exhorted the master to be kind to his slaves. To the extent that if 
a captive embraced Islam on the field of battle, he was a free man. But if he is con- 
verted afterwards, he was not emancipated. 

Hidayah or Guidance? 1 (an authoritative book on Sunni law by Shaikh Bur- 
hanuddin Ali, as quoted in the Dictionary) states that a capturer can either free a 
prisoner or make him a slave. It is his discretion when to make him either free, or 
make him a zimmi or a protected citizen. Incidentally, Hidayah prescribed a law of 
sale and, according to it, slaves were merely articles of merchandise. The approach 
to the sale of a slave was rather like that of animals. 

Several of the exploits of Mahmud Ghazni are, according to Lai, recorded in 
Nizamuddin Ahmad' s Tabqat-I-Akbari which states that Mahmud obtained great 
spoils and a large number of slaves. Next year from Thanesar, according to 
Farishta, the Muhammadan army brought to Ghazni 200,000 captives so that the 
capital appeared like an Indian city, for every soldier of the army had several slave 

Muhammad Ghauri was no less an effective capturer of slaves. Here Lai quotes 
Fakhr-I-Mudabbir that as a result of the Muslim achievements under Muhammad 
Ghori and Qutbuddin Aibak even a poor householder (or soldier), who did not pos- 
sess a single slave before, became the owner of numerous slaves of all descriptions. 

Domination versus Accommodation 


For Sultan Iltutmish, Lai quotes Minhaj Siraj Jurjani. He attacked Gwalior and cap- 
tured a large number of prisoners and made them slaves. Ghiasuddin Balban was 
no less an achiever in this field as were the Khiljis and Tughlaqs who followed in 
the sultanate of Delhi. Ziyauddin Barani describes a slave market of Delhi. There 
is also mention of Firoz Tughlaq who was reputed to have collected 1 80,000 slaves 
through various ways, whether captured in war, in lieu of revenue or as presents 
from noblemen. With such large supplies, inevitably a regular trade in slaves devel- 
oped and many of them were exported abroad. Minhaj has written about Indian 
slaves in Khurasan, in present day Iran. 

The intention in highlighting the practice of slavery by the invaders is not to dig 
up the past, or reopen old wounds. The intention is to illustrate why and how the 
Hindu Muslim divide is so deep. Most Indians do not know about the large number 
of temples that were desecrated and turned into mosques and mausoleums. Even 
fewer know about the cruelty perpetrated on the Hindus through slavery. Cruelty 
inflicted on a large scale and in repeated succession would leave behind indelible 
scars in the collective memory. The quiet hatred of Muslims in most Hindu hearts 
is evidence of these scars. 

40 Hindu Muslim Schism 

Not many days after the Independence Day of 200 1 , the author had an extraordi- 
nary encounter with an old German acquaintance. He had met Helmut Schiller in 
Cologne in 1961 . They had tasted tea together for about three months and had be- 
come friendly. The contact thereafter was postal and intermittent. Surprisingly, 
Helmut's spoken English had become much better than it was 40 years ago. During 
dinner, he expressed surprise at what he had read in the press about a number of 
Indian leaders going to the Pakistani border on 14 August to light candles for peace 
and to distribute sweets of goodwill. He had also read somewhere that both Messrs 
LK. Gujral and Kuldip Nayar had to abandon their homes and emigrate to India in 
1947. How then are they able to be so friendly with the Pakistanis? Have they for- 
gotten the atrocities committed on the Hindus in 1947? 

To divert the conversation to a less controversial plane, the author used the argu- 
ment, however nebulous, that even East Germans had run away from their homes 
and taken refuge across the Brandenberg Gate in West Berlin. Helmut took the lib- 
erty, for old times sake, to tell the author that he was talking nonsense. The East 
Germans were running away from communist Russians and their puppets. They 
had not run away from their own people. We Germans, he went on, throughout felt 
like one nation and the partition was imposed by Moscow. Whereas yours was 
negotiated by your own leaders. And, of course, as far as he knew, there was a his- 
torical schism between the Hindus and the Muslims. 

The Hindu Muslim divide was as old as the invasions of India by the Afghans, 
Turks, Iranians et al. Pre-Islamic invaders must have been equally ruthless, but 
they did not retain their separate identity. They dissolved themselves into the local 
social milieu which was Hindu. Muslims, on the other hand, not only retained their 
Islamic identity but also made efforts to convert the local populace. Those who did 
not convert, became victims of the poll tax or jizyah and were looked upon as zim- 

Domination versus Accommodation 


mies or protected citizens. Moreover, many a conqueror tried to establish a Dar-ul 
Islam in his kingdom and rule according to the Sharia as brought out by Professor 
S. Abid Hussain, 88 in his book The National Culture of India published by the 
National Book Trust, 1972. 

It was therefore not surprising that in their heart of hearts, Hindus have grown 
up to hate the Muslims. At the same time, by and large, the Muslim harbours a con- 
tempt for the Hindu. This mutual attitude reflects the Hindu Muslim equation right 
through the centuries until the British began to assume power in Hindustan. Until 
then, the Muslim was the ruler and the Hindu the subject, across large tracts of the 
country. No doubt, there was a phase when the Marathas gained influence, but their 
domination was neither permanent nor widespread enough to correct the Hindu 
Muslim imbalance that had grown over the centuries. This imbalance explains why 
there is no record of communal riots until after 1858 when the British crown 
directly assumed governance. How can there be a riot between the ruler and his 
slaves? Riots can only take place when there is a semblance of equality. 

The advent of the British signalled the defeat of those princes who were in 
power. Much more of India was ruled by nawabs than by rajas. The Mughal 
emperor was the titular head of the country; even the Marathas acknowledged him 
as such. The defeat was complete and formal when the rebellion of 1857 failed. As 
the British became rulers, the Muslims as well as Hindus became subjects. Thus 
equality was established for the first time. For the Hindus, it was a mighty relief 
that they had ceased to be either zimmies or jizyah payers. The British were impar- 
tial rulers who acted as umpires between the two communities. 

These are 'facts'. Yet, the myth of divide and rule has been created. Evidently, 
neither British scholars nor rulers were able to nip it in the bud. Surely, they could 
not have relished being accused of such an unscrupulous policy. Which indicates 
that there is yet another myth: that our history has been written with bias only 
because the British did so while they ruled the country. They must have intervened 
and favoured positions that served British interests. At the same time, bias was not 
all theirs. Our own scholars and politicians also played their part in twisting histor- 
ical conclusions. And herein the greater responsibility must lie with anti-Hindu 
Hindus. For the simple reason that Muslim leaders were forthright. 

Maulana Muhammad Ali, who was the principal lieutenant of Gandhi during his 
Khilafat movement in 1920-21, refused to join him in the second campaign in 
1930. At a meeting of the All India Muslim Conference at Bombay in April 1930, 


Hindu Masjids 

attended by over 20,000 Muslims, he bluntly stated: We refuse to join Mr Gandhi 
because his movement is not a movement for the complete independence of India 
but for making the seventy millions of Indian Musalmans dependents of the Hindu 
Mahasabha. He made no secret of the fact that the Muslims, as a whole, were 
guided by Pan-Islamism. He told members of the Round Table Conference that 
Islam was not confined to India. I belong, said he, to two circles of equal size but 
which are not concentric. One is India and the other is the Muslim World... We are 
not nationalists but supranationalists. In his address as Congress President in 1 923 
he reminded the audience that extraterritorial sympathies were a part of the quin- 
tessence of Islam, as recorded by R.C. Majumdar 89 (History of the Freedom Move- 
ment in India Volume III by R.C. Majumdar. Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay, 1977). 

As is well known, Muhammad Ali and his brother, Shaukat Ali, were followers 
of Mahatma Gandhi when he led the khilafat movement to protect the throne of the 
Sultan of Turkey and the khilafat of all Sunni Muslims in the world. They lost all 
interest in Gandhiji when, in 1924, Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish general, exiled the 
sultan and abolished khilafat. 

Now read a few highlights from the Lai Ishtihar or the Red Pamphlet*® written 
by one Ibrahim Khan of Mymensingh district of East Bengal early in the 20th cen- 
tury, page 108, Volume II by R.C. Majumdar, 1975. Ye Musalmans arise, awake! 
Do not read in the same schools with Hindus. Do not buy anything from a Hindu 
shop. Do not touch any article manufactured by Hindu hands. Do not give any 
employment to a Hindu. Do not accept any degrading office under a Hindu. You 
are ignorant, but if you acquire knowledge you can at once send all Hindus to 
jehannum (hell). You form the majority of the population of this province. Among 
the cultivators also you form the majority. It is agriculture that is the source of 
wealth. The Hindu has no wealth of his own and has made himself rich only by 
despoiling you or your wealth. If you become sufficiently enlightened, then the Hin- 
dus will starve and soon become Mahomedans. 

Hindus are very selfish. As the progress of Mahomedans is inimical to the self- 
aggrandisement of Hindus, the latter will always oppose Mahomedan progress for 
their selfish ends. Be united in boycotting Hindus. What dire mischief have they not 
done to us! They have robbed us of honour and wealth. They have deprived us of 
our daily bread. And now they are going to deprive us of our very life. 

Evidently, these are not the ravings of a normal person. Yet the depth of emotion 
reflects the deep divide between the two communities. British manipulation to 

Domination versus Accommodation 


divide Indians could not add up to such venom nor would any administration 
responsible for law and order possibly encourage such thoughts. Which does not 
mean that the British did not take tactical advantage of the differences, in order to 
sustain their rule. The point is that the divide was old and deep and the British were 
the beneficiaries. 

Dr B.R. Ambedkar 91 has stressed the deep divide between the Hindus and the 
Muslims with an European example. To quote: Like the Christians and Moslems in 
the Turkish Empire, the Hindus and Moslems of India have met as enemies on many 
fields, and the result of the struggle has often brought them into the relation of con- 
querors and conquered. Whichever party has triumphed, a great gulf has remained 
fixed between the two and their enforced political union either under the Moghals 
or the British instead of passing over, as in so many other cases, into organic unity, 
has only accentuated their mutual antipathy. Neither religion nor social code can 
bridge this gulf. The two faiths are mutually exclusive and at their core and centre 
are irreconciliable. There seems to be an inherent antagonism between the two 
which centuries have not been able to dissolve. 

Decades have gone by since the British left the sub-continent. Yet the tension 
between the two communities abounds. Why? Because, as Prof. S. Abid Husain 92 
has lucidly explained, like other Indian communities and most Asian peoples, 
while honouring as sacred values of patriotism and loyalty to the state, Muslims are 
unanimous in rejecting what western nations explicitly believe as priority of coun- 
try or state over religion. {The National Culture of India, National Book Trust, 

The Hindu confirmation of these Muslim contentions is given by Nirad C. 
Chaudhuri 93 (in his Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, published by MacMil- 
lan & Company Limited, London, 1951). When I see the gigantic catastrophe of 
Hindu Muslim discord of these days I am not surprised, because we as children 
held the tiny mustard seed in our hands and sowed it very diligently. In fact, this 
conflict was implicit in the very unfolding of our history, and could hardly be 
avoided. Heaven preserve me from dishonesty, so general among Indians, of attrib- 
uting this conflict to British rule, however much the foreign rulers might have prof- 
ited by it. Indeed they would have been excusable only as gods, and not as man the 
political animal, had they made no use of the weapon so assiduously manufactured 
by us, and by us also put into their hands. But even then they did not make use of it 
to the extent they might easily have done. This, I know, is a very controversial the- 


Hindu Masjids 

sis, but I think it can be easily proved if we do not turn a blind eye to the facts of 
our history. 

A British view of schism between the two communities is provided by Sir Per- 
cival Griffiths, 94 ICS, in his book, The British Impact on India, Macdonald & Com- 
pany Limited, London, 1952, India stood sharply divided between Hindus and 
Muslims. The feelings between them were much what could be expected, since one 
community had been dominant and the other subject, and often, though not always, 
oppressed. What is today called communal dissension was thus the permanentnnd 
inevitable legacy of centuries of Muslim rule. 

Much has been made of the separate electorates as an attempt by the British to 
divide and rule. Here is what Sir Percival had to say: Indian politicians have bit- 
terly reproached Britain for introducing the principle of communal electorates in 
the Morley-Minto reforms. In reality there was no practical alternative. If semi- 
parliamentary bodies such as the Morley-Minto Councils were to mean anything 
at all, it was essential that all communities should be genuinely represented in 
them. The gulf between the Hindus and the Muslims at that time was wide, and 
nobody with experience of modern India will doubt that under any system of joint 
electorates the Hindus would have secured the return of non representative Mus- 
lims. The philospher might deplore the fact that Hindus and Muslims thought them- 
selves as separate peoples, but the statesman had to accept it. The fears of the 
Muslims were real and deep seated. When the Congress leaders some years later 
formed a temporary alliance with the Muslims, they too had to recognise those 
fears; perhaps the greatest justification of the British establishment of communal 
electorates lies in the fact that they were recognised in 1916 by the Lucknow Pact. 

He continued: the result was the Lucknow Pact of 1916, according to which the 
Muslim League joined in the demand for self-government at an early date, while 
the Congress accepted separate electorates for Muslim members of the Council 
and agreed to the principle of 'weight age 'for minorities. 

41 Horrors of Partition 

The recurring tension between India and Pakistan is in many ways reminiscent of 
the situation in the sub-continent during 1946. The Muslim League had then called 
its policy Direct Action. The action was inaugurated on 1 6th August, 1946 by mas- 
sacring some 20,000 people in the course of three days at Calcutta, now Kolkata. 
Innumerable shops were set on fire while hundreds of houses were destroyed. 

Today the expression used is either proxy war or a freedom struggle in Kashmir. 
However, the stridency in the voices of Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah then, and President 
Musharraf now is comparable. However, there is one difference, Jinnah and his 
colleagues had thought through their two nation theory and the long term implica- 
tions of partition. To illustrate this point, Pir Ilahi Bux, the Sindh leader had said 
he welcomed an exchange of population for the safety of minorities as such an 
exchange would put an end to all communal disturbances. 9 * Iftikhar Hussain Khan 
of Mamdot had declared with great enthusiasm that the exchange of population 
offered a most practical solution of the multifarious problems of the Muslims? 6 
Above all, on 25th November, 1946, Jinnah, addressing a press conference at Kara- 
chi, expressed the opinion that the authorities, both Central arid Provincial, should 
take up immediately the question of exchange of population? 1 In contrast, Mush- 
arraf keeps repeating that the core issue between India and Pakistan is Kashmir 
without spelling out what is his follow-up proposal. 

It is quite possible that the Pakistani President is not au fait with what actually 
happened between 1946 and 1948. He was too young then to know and thereafter 
his preoccupation may have been with his career which, incidentally, was not pub- 
lic life but that of a professional soldier. Like Musharraf, there must be many 
including the young ulema who are blissfully unaware of the fire with which the 
Muslim League played, and in the process what it destroyed. 


Hindu Masjids 

By April 1946, Sir Feroze Khan Noon had evidently become impatient with the 
Congress leaders for not agreeing to an exchange of population. In a speech made 
to the Muslim League legislators on the 9th of that month, he had threatened to re- 
enact the murderous orgies of Changez Khan and Halaqu Khan if the non-Muslims 
took up a stubborn attitude. His was no idle threat. His followers were faithful to 
his call and put in practice the murderous orgies. Let us quote Ian Talbot: 98 At Roda 
village in Khushab Tehsil of the Punjab, the wealthy Batras of Girot and Mitha 
Tiwana resisted for two days. Ultimately, twenty three members of the family were 
arrested on false murder charges. They were safely evacuated only after expending 
huge sums of money to buy off their accusers. Bhagat Ram Chand, for example, 
handed over Rs. 3 5,000 in hard cash. Mokam Singh a well known Sikh landowner 
of the Thai suffered a more nightmarish fate. He led the resistance to the Muslim 
attack on Roda village. When the defenders ' ammunition finally gave out, the set- 
tlement was overrun by a mob which beheaded him. His severed head was trans- 
fixed to a spear and paraded as a war trophy from village to village. News of the 
violence in the Khushab tehsil, spread as far as Nairobi. 

Justice G.D. Khosla in his report entitled Stern Reckoning, Delhi, 1948 and writ- 
ten on the official request of the government of India has recorded many of the vio- 
lent incidents in western Punjab 

Let us now move to Rawalpindi district: Bewal was a village of mixed popula- 
tion, the Sikhs numbering about four hundred. On the morning of March 1 0, some 
of the Sikh residents tried to travel to Gujar Khan but the Muslim lorry driver 
refused to carry them on the ground that the Sub-Inspector of Police had forbidden 
the issue of lorry tickets to Sikhs. The same afternoon a large crowd of Muslims 
shouting "YaAli, YaAli," to the beating of drums, was seen approaching. The non- 
Muslim villagers entrenched themselves in two improvised shelters. At 1 1 p.m. the 
raiders set fire to a number of non-Muslim houses on the outskirts of the village. 
The siege of the village continued throughout the night, and, on the morning of 
March 11, fresh gangs of raiders arrived. The assault on the non-Muslim sanctu- 
aries was now opened. Houses around the Gurdwara, where many of the Sikh res- 
idents had taken shelter, were set on fire. The fire spread to the Gurdwara and 
those inside were almost all burnt alive. The house of a retired Extra Assistant 
Commissioner, in which the rest of the non-Muslims had collected, was also 
attacked in a similar manner. Very few of the four hundred Sikh residents escaped 
alive. Many women and girls saved their honour by self-immolation. They col- 
lected their beddings and cots in a heap and when the heap caught fire they jumped 
on to it, raising cries of Sat Sri Akal. The raiders behaved in a most cruel manner 
and subjected the few men whom they captured to torture. The eyes of Mukand 

Domination versus Accommodation 


Singh, one of the residents, were removed from their sockets and he was dragged 
by the legs till he died. 

Doberan had a population of seventeen hundred of whom a very large majority 
were Sikhs. On the morning of March 10, swarms of armed raiders from the neigh- 
bouring villages began to collect in front of Doberan. The non-Muslim residents 
sought shelter in the local Gurdwara. The raiders began to loot the houses thus 
deserted and set fire to them. The Sikhs had a few firearms and fought the raiders 
from the Gurdwara, They, however, suffered heavily and soon ran out of ammuni- 
tion. The raiders asked them to surrender their arms and promised not to molest 
them. About three hundred of them came out and they were placed in the house of 
one Barkat Singh. During the night the roof was ripped open, kerosene oil was 
poured in, and those inside were burnt alive. In the morning the doors of the Gurd- 
wara were broken open. The remaining Sikhs dashed out sword in hand and died 
fighting the raiders. Very few escaped from this hideous massacre. The total loss 
of life in this village is estimated at 506. 

In Qazian, a village five miles from Gujar Khan, the atmosphere on the morning 
of March 7 was tense. Qazi Ghulam Hussain, a retired Government official, 
assured the Sikh residents that there was no cause for alarm and that they were 
perfectly safe in his village. On the morning of March 9, a large crowd of Muslims 
began to assemble near the village abadi on the pretence of holding a kabaddi 
match. The Muslims advanced with the beat of drums and began setting fi re to the 
Sikh houses and Gurdwara. Shots were fired at the raiders and they retreated. On 
the following morning they came back, reinforced, in larger numbers. Qazi Ghu- 
lam Hussain asked the Sikhs to come to his house for the night with their valuables. 
A number of Sikhs accepted this invitation and went there with their women and 
children. At 4 p.m. the raiders appeared in front of Qazi Ghulam Hussain 's house 
and the Qazi then asked his guests to surrender their arms and leave his house. 
When the unarmed Sikhs emerged from the house they were set upon by the raiders 
and murdered. Three young girls were raped in public. Sant Singh, a Sikh resident, 
had on the previous day killed one of the Muslim raiders and had then hidden him- 
self. He was sent for by Qazi Ghulam Hussain and, while he was talking to him, a 
rope was flung round his neck and he was dragged to a firewood stall where he and 
his son were hacked to bits and then burnt. The survivors were evacuated to Gujar 
Khan by militaiy lorries on the night of the 1 1th. 

Nara village is situated in a hilly tract. It had a majority of Sikhs but the neigh- 
bouring villagers were all predominantly Muslim. At about 4 p. m. on March 9, 


Hindu Masjids 

Muslim mobs were seen approaching the village and, late at night, the village was 
attacked and the outlying houses were set on fire. One of the residents, Makhan 
Singh and his wife and daughter were burnt alive in their house. The looting and 
burning continued on the following day. Some of the raiders had firearms and they 
appeared to be ex-military men. On March 1 1 the number of raiders swelled to sev- 
eral thousands and the village was encircled. As the ring narrowed the Sikh resi- 
dents offered stubborn resistance. The raiders seized a number of women and 
children and threw them into the blaze of a burning house. A few women committed 
suicide by jumping into a well. Over a hundred men were killed; about fifty were 
forcibly converted to Islam. The survivors were evacuated to Gujar Khan. 

In Sialkot district: conversion to Islam was frequently offered as the price of 
safety, and if the victims exhibited any reluctance or religious scruples they were 
subjected to duress and torture. The hair of Sikhs was cut off, their beards were 
trimmed and beef was cooked and forced down their throats. Some of them were cir- 
cumcised. Young women and girls were molested and carried away. Reason and 
decency were completely banished by fanatical zeal; and young innocent girls were 
raped in public. In one village the relations of a girl were made to stand around in 
a ring while she was raped by several men in succession. Moving to Sheikhupura, 
not far from the birthplace of Guru Nanak, is a heart rending eye witness account of 
the Civil Surgeon. Whosoever tried to run away fell a victim to the shots of the Bal- 
uchis and the policemen. Having thus cleared away all the living population, the 
looters began to ransack the houses under the very nose of the policemen. At about 
10 o'clock, trench-mortar fire was heard in Guru Nanak Pura locality. In all we 
heard about ten mortar shots. Since the firing came nearer and nearer to the hos- 
pital and the people had been killed under our very noses, we hid ourselves in the 
dark room attached to the X-ray department of the hospital. It proved to be the saf- 
est place. While hiding there in the dark room we heard woeful cries of Hindu and 
Sikh children as they were done to death by the Muslim mob. The cry of one child 
was particularly heart-rending. At about 2 p.m. we heard the cty, "Do not cut my 
throat. Do not cut my throat. You have already killed my parents. Take me with 
you. " He was killed in the hospital verandah about twenty paces from us. 

These crimes must have overtaken the cruelty of even Changez Khan and 
Halaqu Khan, the heroes o r Sir Feroze Khan Noon. 

Justice G.D Khosla's report entitled Stern Reckoning, Delhi, 1 948, ends by sum- 
ming up: that League ideology and the line of conduct pursued by it were mainly 
and directly responsible for the horrible drama, narrated in these pages, is clearly 

Domination versus Accommodation 


demonstrated by the inexorable logic of chronology. The speeches delivered at the 
Convention of the Muslim League legislators in April 1946, were an open incite- 
ment to violence. On July 29, the Direct Action resolution frankly abjured peaceful 
and constitutional methods and, on August 16, the campaign of violence was 
opened at Calcutta under the command and guidance of Mr. Suhrawardy. In Octo- 
ber came the tragedy of Noakhali and Tipper a. Almost immediately afterguards 
retaliation followed in Bihar. Then for some months there was a lull while a major 
operation in the North-west was being planned. With the riots of March 1947 began 
the genocide of the non-Muslims. These disturbances were confined to the Muslim 
majority areas only and the victims were almost invariably Hindus and Sikhs. 

Recalling the direct action of 1946 is not to dig up history, but to remind the 
leaders of both India and Pakistan what its re-enactment could mean. The situation 
is threatening for the Muslim masses in India because Pakistan has already con- 
ducted its ethnic cleansing. Obviously, the overwhelming priority of the average 
Muslim would be the security and the safety of his family and relatives. Yet, he has 
no say in Indo-Pak affairs. Today, there is not a single leader who has a country- 
wide appeal. Even regional leaders are few and far between, except for the eccle- 
siastics or the mullahs. 

Let this not be seen as merely raising fears. It was an apprehension shared by a 
number of eminent persons even in those years, of whom the most eminent was 
Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India who stayed on' as the first Governor 
General after independence. To quote Sir Penderel Moon," ICS: At a conference 
on June 4th, 1947, Lord Mountbatten was specifically asked whether he foresaw 
any mass transfer of population as a result of Partition. His reply was tantamount 
to a negative. A measure of transfer would come about, he said, 'in a natural way, 
that is to say people would just cross the boundary or the Government may take 
steps to transfer population. ' Such minor marginal shifts near the boundary or 
planned transfer by government were very different from the uncontrollable mass 
migrations which were shortly destined to take place. 

Although Dr B.R. Ambedkar 100 had expressed similar views five years earlier, 
quoting British opinion is far better from an objective point of view: nevertheless, 
the weight of Babasaheb's opinion is no less important. To quote: Some scoff at the 
idea of the shifting and exchange of population. But those who scoff can hardly be 
aware of the complications which a minority problem gives rise to and the failures 
attendant upon almost all the efforts made to soothe their relations. The constitu- 
tions of the post-war states, as well as the older states in Europe which had a 


Hindu Masjids 

minority problem, proceeded on the assumption that constitutional safeguards for 
minorities should suffice for their protection and the constitutions of most of the 
new states with majorities and minorities were studded with long lists of fundamen- 
tal rights and safeguards to see that they were not violated by the majorities. What 
was the experience? Experience showed that safeguards did not save the minori- 
ties. Even after safeguards the same old policy of exterminating the minorities con- 
tinued to hold the field. But, at long last, when the States realized that even this 
ruthless war had failed to solve the problem of minorities they agreed that the best 
way to solve it was for each to exchange its alien minorities within its border for 
its own which was without its border with a view to bring about homogeneous 
States. This is what happened in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. Those who scoff at 
the idea of transfer of population will do well to study the history of the minority 
problem, as it arose between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. If they do, they will find 
that after Dying all possible methods of solving the problem it was agreed between 
these countries that the only effective way of solving it was to exchange population. 
The task undertaken by the three countries was by no means a minor operation. It 
involved the transfer of some 20 million people from one habitat to another. But 
undaunted, the three shouldered the task and carried it to a successful end. That is 
because they felt that the considerations of communal peace must outweigh every 
other consideration. 

Muslim opinion in India is the virtual monopoly of the ulema. Their priority 
appears to be the consolidation of pan-Islamism rather than the welfare of the Mus- 
lims in India. How many average Muslims living outside the valley have been any- 
where near Kashmir? They have little interest in the controversy. From a practical 
point of view, they would prefer that Kashmiri Muslims remain compatriots. So 
that the Indian ummah does not shrink in numbers. 

Non-Muslim political parties are unable to address the Muslim masses, either 
because they do not understand their psyche, or for fear of antagonising the mul- 
lahs. Even liberal modern Muslim politicians are unable to freely express them- 
selves. If they do, their fear is that they would earn the antipathy of the high priests 
of their religion. It is very well to proclaim the validity of the two nation theory and 
keep trying to prove that the Muslims are a separate nation. But the ground reality 
is that the Muslim masses have to make the best of their stay in India, unless they 
are prepared to emigrate. 

When partition took place, there was hope, especially harboured by the Muslim 
League, that the creation of Pakistan would satisfy most of the Muslim aspirations. 

Domination versus Accommodation 


Instead, all it achieved was to perpetrate tyranny upon their Bengali compatriots 
which eventually lead them to secede in 1971. Now, there are secessionist move- 
ments in Sindh and Baluchistan. The Afghan frontier was a hotbed of Talibanism, 
again a threat to Pakistan becoming a modern state. But it is doubtful whether the 
ulema in the subcontinent would be interested in modernisation. 

In 1946, the Muslim minority was a live question only in India. But today, after 
55 years, there are several other countries that are undergoing experiences of 
adjustment. It is not entirely pleasant. Or else, why should the Economist, London, 
need to deal with the subject twice during one month in July 2001? 

Several towns in the north of England had, what were described as, racial riots 
between the local youth and those of Pakistani origin. Oldham, Burnley and Brad- 
ford were three towns mentioned by the Economist of July 14. Violent incidents 
have taken place, many times over the years, especially since 1 98 1 . Patience is evi- 
dently running out. Or else why should a liberal journal like the Economist raise 
the issue of multi-culturalism which it calls a problematic creed. Some degree of 
assimilatory mixing is necessary otherwise communities end up living not together 
but separately, divided rather than harmonious. 

The last paragraph of report expresses exasperation. British policy makers have 
tended to think more about the rights of minorities, in relation to various wayward 
organs of the state, than about their responsibilities. France suffers from greater 
tension on this account. 'Over the Bastille Day weekend, in the Paris region disaf- 
fected young people.... Many of them of Arab origin celebrated by setting fire to 
more than 130 cars. There are estimated to be about five million Muslims in 
France. A report to the prime minister noted last December, the beurs or French 
born children of immigrant parents, are increasingly turning to Islam, not as a 
matter of faith but as a symbol of identity. 

42 Travancore, a Hindu Polity 

Travancore now forms a large part of Kerala, but until 1947 it was a princely state 
owing paramount allegiance to the British crown. After the reorganisation of states 
in 1956, it merged with Cochin and Malabar to form Kerala. While it was ruled by 
a prince, it offered a Hindu contrast to an Islamic state. 

In India, this is one outstanding example of a self proclaimed Hindu state and 
that too in recent times. A Japanese scholar Koji Kawashima, 101 in his book Mis- 
sionaries and a Hindu State, OUP, New Delhi, 1998, has researched and recorded 
the experience of Travancore between 1858 and 1936. The study was funded by 
two Japanese foundations named after Yoshida and Mortia and supervised by a 
British professor, David Arnold. Hence, it can be relied on as an impartial, objec- 
tive work on an Indian state. The following paragraphs help to describe Travan- 
core's state Hinduism as well as how the non-Hindu citizens were treated. 

In India, the kingly duties have been called rajadharma, which can be defined 
as the obligation of the ruler to protect dharma, or to secure peace, prosperity, jus- 
tice and order in the kingdom. Of these duties, the protection of the gods and their 
temples was perhaps the most important. As a servant of Sri Padmanabha, the 
Maharaja of Travancore observed a number of rituals, most of which were started 
by Martanda Varma in the mid-eighteenth century. 

Travancore was a state which had a large number of non-Hindus, particularly 
Syrian Christians. In 1875, Christians formed about 20 percent of the total popu- 
lation, and Muslims six percent. These different religions have co-existed in 
Travancore state. One of the principal reasons for this co-existence was a semi- 
official state policy of religious tolerance. 

Regarding this, Lieutenants Ward and Conner, who surveyed Travancore and 
Cochin from 1816 to 1820, stated, in the idiom of the time, that Christianity was 

Domination versus Accommodation 


fully acknowledged by the authorities in those states, and whether from their jus- 
tice or indifference did not appear to have been exposed to persecution. Dewan 
V.P. Madhava Rao stated at the first meeting of the Sri Mulam Popular Assembly 
in 1904 that equality of treatment to all religions was one of the principal features 
ofTravancore state. Missionaries more or less recognised this aspect. 

J. Knowles, an LMS missionary, stated in 1898 that Travancore state has been 
conspicuous by its toleration of non-Hindu religions. In fact, Hindu kings gave the 
Syrians privileges and honours that distinguished them as a high caste. And Syri- 
ans themselves attempted to have the support of the king when there was a dispute 
over ecclesiastical power within their church. Also, as Leslie Brown has pointed 
out, Syrian Christians joined in many festivals, such as Onam and Vishut, engaged 
in temple celebrations and gave offerings to the temples along with Hindus. 

Evidently, the Hindu state ofTravancore did not discriminate against the follow- 
ers of other faiths. The overriding evidence of religious tolerance is the present 
population profile of Kerala, a large part of which had belonged to Travancore. 
Incidentally, other major states of what is now called Kerala were Cochin and Mal- 
abar. Both were ruled by Hindu monarchs. In Cochin, he was called maharaja 
while in Malabar he was called zamorin. As far as religious tolerance was con- 
cerned, they were similar to Travancore. In fact, all the three were so tolerant that 
they freely allowed change of religion. Today, 20 per cent of Keralites are Christian 
and a similar percentage is Muslim. Therefore why is there a periodic outcry 
against a Hindu rashtra? Assuming it was true and successful, no one has any need 
to fear going by the prototype as represented by Travancore. 

The implication is that the Hindu ethos has no tangible model of the state. 
Putting it another way, in Hindustan, state and religion are spontaneously separate. 
True, Sri Ram is looked upon as an ideal king. The Mahabharat epic discusses the 
three prime duties of a king, namely, protecting the borders of the state, ensuring 
justice, law and order for the people and selecting a competent successor to the 

Dhritrashtra instructed Yudhishthir about the ideal judicical and legal set up for 
the kingdom. He also spoke of a strict penal system and insisted on the right kind 
of punishment for crimes. Bhishma also addressing Yudhishthir, explained the 
duties of a king especially in the context of the economy as well as defence. Vidur 
also showed considerable interest in statecraft. He desribed the virtues and the 
vices of a king, the duties of a kingdom etc. 


Hindu Masjids 

Sri Krishna's wisdom is wide ranging as well as fascinating. The Bhagwad Gita 
is a theory of life and is valid eternally. His guidance right through the Mahabharat 
epic has a great deal to teach about the strategy and practice of life, as well as on 
the battlefield. Evidently, even in those ancient times, worship was kept far away 
from the conduct of state. 

Kautilya's Arthshastra is far more comprehensive and goes into great detail 
about how a kingdon should be run. Nevertheless, even if one were to build the 
model of a state on the basis of these details, there would be nothing Hindu about 
a Kautilyan polity, since there is no mention of either worship or religion in the 
entire Arthshastra. The model would be strictly secular in the original European 
sense of the state being separate from the church. Incidentally, even in other liter- 
ature, nothing remotely describing a Buddhist or a Jain state is available. This is 
despite the fact that there were centuries in the course of which some tension 
existed between those favouring Buddhism, as distinct from the sanatan dharma. 
Which means that even when there was a tussle between two social philosophies, 
neither resorted to using state machinery for its own survival or success. 

In recent times, Mahatma Gandhi did talk about ramrajya, whose model he did 
not construct on paper. Nevertheless, it was his idea of an ideal state; many a Hindu 
shares his view. One essential sentence from Gandhi needs to be quoted here: By 
Ram Raj, I do not mean Hindu Raj, I mean Ram Raj Divine Raj, the kingdom of 
God. For me, Ram and Rahim are the same deity. Even then, when a non-Hindu 
hears the word Ram, he takes it for granted that the concept is that for a Hindu state. 

In sharp contrast to the Islamic Taliban, Travancore illustrates the Hindu attitude 
to statecraft. Although it was a self declared Hindu state, yet its concern was not to 
retain or recruit more people for Hindu society. Rather, the rulers were careful 
about the liberty of everyone to be able to follow his or her own faith, which 
explains why there was no resistance by the state to religious conversions. 

43 A Hindu State at Work 

Nepal is a self declared Hindu kingdom. In fact, it is known as the world's only 
Hindu state. Travancore was also a Hindu state at work. As a follow through of in- 
dependence in 1947, it was amalgamated into the federal state of Kerala. In pre- 
independence days, it was a princely state with the British crown as the paramount 

Today therefore, if one wants to get a glimpse of a living Hindu state, one must 
look at Nepal. Part I of its Constitution adopted in 1990, describes the kingdom as 
a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, democratic, independent, indivisible, sovereign 
Hindu and constitutional monarchical kingdom. Part V states that the king must be 
a descendant of the great king Prithvi Narayan Shah and an adherent of Aryan cul- 
ture and Hindu religion. From time immemorial, the monarch has been a Hindu. 

Legends take the country, or rather kingdom, back into the mists of pre -hi story. 
There is a well known column with an inscription of emperor Ashoka who ruled in 
the 3rd century BC. However, the recorded history of Nepal begins with chronicles 
which mention the rise of the Licchavi dynasty in the 4th century AD. Before that, 
the rulers were people who belonged to the Kirat dynasty. From the 10th to the 1 8th 
century, Nepal has been ruled by the Mallas. 

As the Encyclopaedia Brittanica records, the Licchavi as well as subsequent 
rulers, although devout Hindus, did not impose brahmanical laws on their non- 
Hindu subjects who, in those centuries, were Buddhists. King Jaisthiti Malla, who 
reigned from 1382-95, introduced the first legal and social code which was influ- 
enced by Hindu principles. By 1769, a distinguished Gorkha conquered the valley 
and established the capital at Kathmandu. His name was Prithvi Narayan Shah 
whose progeny were the subsequent rulers of the country. Thus were the laid the 
foundations of the modern state of Nepal. 


Hindu Masjids 

Although a democratic country, Nepal did not have a constitution until 1959. 
The original constitution however, was replaced by another one in 1962. The con- 
stitution in force today is the one promulgated by King Birendra in 1990. Before 
1959 and since, whether as a monarchical democracy or as a popular democracy, 
Nepal has adhered to the liberal traditions of Hinduism. Many of these have been 
enshrined in the present constitution. For example, Part I says that the Nepalese 
people irrespective of religion, race, caste or tribe, collectively constitute the 

Detailing the rules of citizenship, Part II clearly lays out the rules as to how a 
foreigner can become a Nepalese national. There is provision for honorary citizen- 
ship which may be granted to an internationally renowned person. Part III makes 
the right of equality for all its citizens as a fundamental right. The right in its vari- 
ous aspects is as follows: 

1. All citizens shall be equal before the law. No person shall be denied equal 
protection of the laws. 

2. No discrimination shall be made against any citizen in the application of 
general laws on grounds of religion (dharma), race (varna), sex (linga), 
caste (jati), tribe(jati) or ideological conviction (vaicharik) or any of these. 

3. The state shall not discriminate among citizens on grounds of religion, 
race, sex, caste, tribe, or ideological conviction or any of these: 

Provided that special provisions may be made by law for the protection and 
advancement of the interests of women, children, the aged or those who are 
physically or mentally incapacitated or those belonging to a class which is 
economically, socially or educationally backward. 

4. No person shall, on the basis of caste, be discriminated against as untouch- 
able, be denied access to any public place, or be deprived of the use of pub- 
lic utilities. Any contravention of this provision shall be punishable by law. 

5. No discrimination in regard to remuneration shall be made between men 
and women for the same work. 

The right to religion is also fundmental: 

1. Every person shall have the freedom to profess and practise his own reli- 
gion as handed down to him from ancient times having due regard to tradi- 
tional practices. 

Domination versus Accommodation 


Provided that no person shall be entitled to convert another person from one 
religion to another. 

2. Every religious denomination shall have the right to maintain its independ- 
ent existence and for this purpose to manage and protect its religious places 
and trusts. 

To confirm that in practice also there is no discrimination between one religion 
and another, it is useful to quote from an article by Dr. M. Mohsin, 102 a Muslim 

Religion has never been a barrier of effective communication between different 
ethnic groups in Nepal. All through her long history Nepalese society has dis- 
played a remarkably high degree of religious harmony. She has never been forced 
to coexist with alien cultures or creeds against her will. Religious groups either 
Hindu, Buddhist, or even Muslim never developed a militant or aggressive com- 
plex. The Nepalese Crown maintaining the highest tradition of Hindu secularism 
extended its royal patronage to all sects and creeds in its domain. As has been 
pointed out, "the Nepali readily believes in all Gods and fought Islam only because 
the invaders were iconoclasts and broke the Nepalese idols. Nevertheless, two hun- 
dred thousand Muslims form part of the kingdom of Nepal and their rights, privi- 
leges and freedom of worship are as jealously guarded as those of their Hindu, 
Buddhist and, Bonpo brethren.'" 

Despite being a Hindu state, the government has been liberal. Radio and televi- 
sion celebrate Muslim and Christian festivals as well as Hindu occasions, Muslims 
only had nominal presence in Kathmandu valley until the early sixties, although in 
the Terai belt bordering India there were many Muslims. A Muslim candidate of 
the Nepali Congress won an election to the Pratinidhi Sabha or the lower house of 
parliament way back in 1959. He was Sheikh Idris. The first Islamic inroad into the 
Kathmandu valley had taken place in 1346 when Sultan Shamsuddin of Bengal had 
attacked the valley, damaged the Pashupatinath temple and desecrated the idol. He, 
however, did not colonise the valley. 

Till the early sixties of the 20th century, only some six or seven Kashmiri Mus- 
lim families were living in Kathmandu to trade in carpets and later their number 
increased manifold. A Muslim fugitive from India not only got Nepali citizenship 
but also joined politics and got elected to the Rashtriya Panchayat. He also became 
a minister. 


Hindu Masjids 

Muslims now constitute a sizeable section of Kathmandu's population and thou- 
sands are seen at Friday prayers in the two main mosques of the city. However, 
there has been no communal tension in Kathmandu between the Hindus 
and Muslims. 

Christians made an early entry after Nepal opened its doors to foreigners. After 
1950, missionary activity increased with the setting up of a hospital and public 
school. There is a constitutional ban on conversions, nevertheless, the number of 
Christians has increased. 

In 1961, the Muslim population of the country was estimated to be 200,000 and 
therefore less than two percent. Immigration of Muslims got encouragement after 
the state visit of President Ayub Khan of Pakistan in 1 964. He was given a special 
welcome by King Mahendra who was anxious to make new friends over and above 
the traditional neighbours, namely, India and China. Contrary to the sentiments of 
many a Hindu citizen, President Ayub Khan was made to stay at the Narayanhiti 
palace instead of the normal practice of putting up senior state guests in the state 
house, Sheetal Niwas. 

In 1971, there was civil war in Pakistan, as a result of which the country's east- 
em wing seceded to become Bangladesh. Many an Urdu speaking resident of the 
eastern wing migrated to Nepal. In Bangladesh, he was called a Bihari. In its liberal 
attitude towards other religions, the government of Nepal did nothing to discourage 
this inflow of Muslims. They, as a proportion of the total population are now esti- 
mated to constitute some five per cent. This merely underlines the liberality of the 
Hindu kingdom of Nepal. 

44 Islam at Cross Roads 

Has Black Tuesday, 1 1th September 2001 
begun a new chain of crusades? 

Will the course of history change as a result of Black Tuesday, 11th September, 
2001, or will it remain more or less the same? Should the surprise destruction of 
the World Trade Center as well as the attack on the Pentagon in Washington DC 
make a permanent difference to the outlook of America and the West? 

In the 1400 years since this religion came into existence there has been no 
canonical division or theological split since the Shias went their separate way, after 
the battle of Karballa.The Sunni Shia difference began over who should be the kha- 
lifa or the representative of Prophet Muhammad. Should he necessarily be some- 
one from the blood or family line of the Prophet? Or could he be any member of 
the Quraish tribe to which Muhammad Saheb belonged? 

Those who insisted on the former preference were called Shias. The rest are 
known as Sunnis.True, Ahmadiyas had a more fundamental difference. In 1889, 
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, a town in East Punjab, claimed to be the mehdi 
or the expected messiah. He also claimed to have seen a vision rather like the 
Prophet. This was unacceptable to the ulema as Muhammad was the last prophet 
who had delivered the final message. There could be no further message. Little 
wonder that eventually the Ahmadiyas were condemned as un-Islamic and there- 
fore declared non-Muslim. 

Be that as it may, the Hindu Muslim equation is the single most important issue 
before our country. Until and unless we resolve this question, it will be difficult to 
achieve national integrity and make rapid progress. This explains the special inter- 


Hindu Masjids 

est in the future of Islam. A great deal would depend on how the equation between 
the two communities might now shape up. 

Terrorist strikes in New York and Washington would have resulted in a split in 
the opinion of Muslims all over the world. It is quite possible that a majority would, 
in their heart or hearts, feel that the Almighty has punished the Americans for their 
own acts of omission and commission. On the other hand, there must be many co- 
religionists who would feel that what happened was wrong. Some of them would 
question the ethics of killing innocent people. Others would have their own prob- 
lems of survival like those Muslims who live in Europe and America. Yet others 
would recoil out of fear, of having angered the world's most powerful country. 

Specifically, the conflict seems to be coming to the surface in Pakistan. Was 
there any alternative for its government but to cooperate with the USA? On the 
other hand, there was a dread of the Taliban retaliating as well as a fear of refugees 
flooding the country from Afghanistan. Also, the sentiments of the ulema and 
masses of fellow Muslims. Above all, there was a question as to whether Pakistani 
soldiers would obey their generals in a war against the Taliban. Islam has not had 
to deal with such contradictions earlier on a world scale. Being a religion of the 
Book, the problems of conflict were inevitable. But the best way to explain this 
point is to take the experiences of other religions, or faiths, of the Judiac series, 
namely histories of Judiasm, Christianity and Marxism. What has happened to 
them would throw interesting light on what could possibly happen to Islam. 

As we all know, Judaism has remained strict and pristine. Jews who differed 
from their orthodoxy wandered away from the fold. As a result, the faith today does 
not have more than ten million adherents. In other words, Judaism has paid the 
price by shrinking for the sake of remaining pure and undivided. On the other hand, 
the Christian church allowed itself to be divided many times into various denomi- 
nations. The first split came as long ago as the 4th century AD when the Roman 
empire divided into two; one remaining headquartered in Rome and the other shift- 
ing to Constantinople. 

The canonical difference between the two churches did not emerge until the 9th 
century. The Roman or the Western Church believed that the Holy Spirit in the 
Christian trinity along with father or God and son or Jesus Christ emerges from 
both these, the Eastern prelates felt that the Holy spirit proceeded only from the 
father. The real subdivision of Christianity however had to wait until the 16th cen- 

Domination versus Accommodation 


tury reformation, when the word protestant began to be used, as opposed to catho- 
lic. Since then, any number of protestant denominations have emerged. 

Therefore, Judiasm shrank, whereas Christianity divided into many sects; the 
number of Christians also increased manifold. Marxism also offers an example of 
which way a religion of the Book can go. For those who may have reservations 
about calling Marxism a faith, let us clarify. It asserts that there is no God and that 
religion is the opium of the masses. To say that there is God is a matter of faith. It 
is equally a matter of faith to deny the existence of God. There can be no absolute 
proof either of the presence or the absence of God. Therefore, Marxism is also a 
religion. As is well known, for all practical purposes, Marxism met its death in 
1991. True, many leftists insist that Marxism as a school of thought is very much 
alive. Only most of the communist states have ceased to exist. 

If one wants to argue, one can claim that there is North Korea and also Cuba. 
The ruling group in China even now calls itself the Communist Party. But we know 
for a fact that Marxism, or the spring of communism, has lost most of its followers. 
To that extent, the faith has, more or less expired. Its demise took place because 
communism failed to deliver the goods in fast moving and rapidly changing times. 
The ideology was neither flexible nor dynamic. The question is whether Islam is 
flexible, dynamic and able to deliver the goods for the Muslim youth, whose expec- 
tations are also rising, similar to those of all other youth. They want to educate 
themselves, express themselves and fulfil ambitions like members of any other 

For the believer, Islam is the final message delivered by the last Prophet some 
1 ,400 years ago in Arabia. It is to the credit of Muslims, that they have been blindly 
faithful to the message of Allah. The obverse of this faith is, that it has not kept pace 
with the times and therefore might not satisfy all the youth, male as well as female, 
of today. In other words, it might not be able to deliver the goods. Reformation a la 
the Christian church of the 1 6th century has not taken place at all in Islam. We have 
seen earlier why the Ahmadiyas were expelled and condemned as non-Muslims. 
Like Judaism, is it probable that the ulema would prefer shrinkage of their religion 
rather than compromising its purity? 

Pristine Islam insists that the non-believer is a kaflr. The believer is called a 
momin whose duty it is to try and convert every kafir to his faith through persua- 
sion, and, if necessary, through threat. Collectively, Dar-ul Islam is a state in which 
the tenets of Islam are fully observed. In contrast, Dar-ul Harb is a territory which 


Hindu Masjids 

belongs to infidels and therefore is a target for warfare. This inevitably calls for 
jehad or a holy war. One who kills a kafir is called aghazi. incidentally, a kafir who 
agrees to pay the poll tax called jizyah obtains protection and thus becomes a 

A Muslim is uncomfortable so long as Sharia is not put into practice. He turns a 
separatist, unless he, or another Muslim is the ruler. Another aspect that is impor- 
tant is the brotherhood of Islam, whereby a Muslim anywhere in the world is more 
right than a kafir or an infidel. This explains why a Palestinian is more right than 
an American. Which, in turn, explains the attacks on New York and Washington 
on Black Tuesday. The consequence is the fear of retaliation by the USA. The 
effects of that pressure are already being seen in Pakistan. 

On the other hand, all devout Muslims led by the ulema disapprove of doing 
anything whereby they are involved in apprehending or handing over brother Mus- 
lims to infidel westerners. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1 99 1 . Saudi Arabia, the Emirates 
and other sheikhdoms helped finance the USA to defeat Saddam Hussain. That was 
a fight for survival amongst some Muslim states and not an Islamic conflict. The 
unity of the ummah was not at stake, The conflict resulting form Black Tuesday 
however is an unprecedented one that Islam faces. Therefore it assumes that the 
course of the religion will inevitably change. 

VI Missing Link 

This book has striven to find a way of resolving the Hindu Muslim conflict which 
has evaded a solution for centuries from Emperor Akbar to Mahtama Gandhi. Its 
mission would be fulfilled only if it helps Indians to develop collective pride. 

45 Collective Honour 

India lost the cricket test series against Sri Lanka during August 200 1 when the au- 
thor happened to meet a visitor from Sydney. After we became well acquainted, he 
asked as to why we kept losing in not only cricket, but even in other games like 
hockey and football? In his opinion, India had the best batting side in the world led 
by Sachin Tendulkar, who was beginning to be recognised as the best batsman ever 
after Don Bradman. It was not as if we lacked skills at other games either. We have 
produced champions at billiards, badminton, chess and also to an extent, in tennis. 
Team games were a disaster for Indians. There was similar conclusion by the few 
persons present, when we talked about this subject. 

Over the years, even in business and industry, we seldom function well as teams 
led by a captain or a chief executive. Somehow, we perform much better if the same 
managers are able to look upon someone in the company as a karta or a father fig- 
ure. He may or may not be the owner, or an extraordinary executive but he has to 
be percieved as a big enough peron who needs to be implicitly obeyed. In other 
words, we Indians obey much more sincerely than we cooperate spontaneously. 
From sport to business, to the country as a whole, the syndrome seems to be famil- 

Although China is known to have made a great deal of progress over the last ten 
or twelve years, yet until 1979, India on balance, was economically more success- 
ful. Even when Peking (now Beijing) humiliated us in 1962, economically the yel- 
low country was in trouble. Only the previous year, 30 million people had starved 
to death in the western provinces of China. Today of course, the country is looked 
upon with awe as the world's second strongest power. 

An American scholar on military strategy, Prof. Edward Lutwak would call 
China an outstanding example of his theory of armed suasion, whereby the country 

Missing Link 


appears much bigger than the sum of its many parts. That the alchemy is superior 
to the total of the metals that go to make it. Max Webber, the German social scien- 
tist, might have called China a case of charisma, not in the sense of mass appeal as 
the world understands it, but the whole appearing much bigger than the sum of its 

It is not suggested that this is an accurate diagnosis of the Indian syndrome. It is 
disappointing that the country is not getting the recognition for its achievements 
and its many contributions to civilisation. There is no doubt that there is a missing 
link in our ethos. Only if we are able to locate it and solder it, would Indians feel 
prouder, more self-confident and successful. 

Another way to put it is that our national fabric needs more of a binding factor 
than our leaders have so far provided . Since we have talked about China, it would 
bear repeating that over 91 percent of its population belongs to the Han race and 
almost everyone speaks the same language, albeit in differing idioms. The country 
has continually been a single bureaucratic state for 2,200 years since the advent of 
the Han dynasty in 206 BC. There were ups and downs in the power of the Chinese 
state, but at all times during the 22 centuries, the country was a single polity under 
an emperor until 1911, after which China became a republic. 

Uncannily, God or faith in Him has never been a Han preoccupation. True, 
Laotse and Confucius set the social conduct and behavioural norms for the people, 
but if there is any belief of wide ranging acceptance, it is Buddhism. There are 
Muslims in western China specially in the province of Xinjiang Uygur as well as a 
scattering of Christians, especially on the eastern seaboard. After the demise of 
communism, if there be any belief among the teeming millions, it is again the lure 
of Buddha. 

In sharp contrast, the ethos of Hindustan has been dominated by blind faith in the 
omnipresence of paramatma. Unlike Judaic religions, there was no distinction 
between Jews and gentiles, Christians and heathens or momins and kafirs. All liv- 
ing beings are a part of the Hindu universe and every little piece of land, pond of 
water, the smallest hillock or the shallowest valley was steeped in the faith. 

It was an avataar of Vishnu who first conceived of a pan India, or a single Hin- 
dustan as long ago as 3,400 years. Any wonder that Sri Krishna has devout follow- 
ers across the land from the eastern most state of Manipur to the western most 
Saurashtra, from northern Kashmir to southern Kanyakumari. How he sent emis- 


Hindu Masjids 

saries to various nooks and corners of the subcontinent on the morrow of the 
Mahabharat war has been documented by Ms Shobha Mukherji in her book 103 The 
Republican Trends in Ancient India published by Munshiram Manoharlal, 1969. 
Unfortunately, this spiritual bond of Hindustan was shaken and in due course muti- 
lated with the advent of Islamic invasion. 

Even though the Hindu faith remained unshaken, its influence as a bond between 
the people and a cement among the masses, across the land, dwindled. Thus was 
damaged the greatest integrating element of Hindustan. The very basis of Indian 
nationalism was eroded. Centuries of foreign rule was bad enough. What was 
worse was that some of our own leaders in the 20th century went out of their way 
to eradicate it. An outstanding example was how Mahatma Gandhi took it upon 
himself to lead the khilafat movement. This agitation was nothing but an attempt to 
save the khalifa on the throne of Turkey, so that the spiritual cum temporal head of 
all the world's Sunnis was preserved in place. The khalifa was the representative 
of Prophet Muhammad, or the personification of pan Islamism or of supranation- 
al ism. Which, in turn, is an obvious adversary of nationalism. The khilafat move- 
ment was anti-national. 

Communism has been yet another curse for this country, although its ideology 
was not able to penetrate the masses. In fact, communist parties never showed any 
boldness in preaching their anti-God message. But where communism hurts the 
integrity of India, was its influence on the intelligentsia. Being firm believers in the 
potential unity of the world's workers, their ideology came through as essentially 
anti-nation. True, Leon Trotsky, the right hand man of Lenin, and his thinking did 
not reach India in any significant way. Nevertheless, the Revolutionary Socialist 
Party (RSP), which is faithful to Trotsky's thinking, is still a partner in the left front 
government in West Bengal. Trotsky called his mission the permanent revolution. 
The nation state, in his view, was an instrument of exploitation of the poor, in the 
hands of the rich. 

The other factions of the communist movement were of slightly differing shades 
of red. The Communist Party of India was the agent of Moscow whereas those who 
felt that Maoist China was more correct than Khruschev's Soviet Union, broke 
away in 1964 and formed the CPI (Marxist). And so no. But none of the factions 
stood for nationalism. Their anthem was the Internationale. They were internation- 
alists and to that extent, adversaries of nationalism. The appeal of communism to 
many a decent person was in its apparent care and compassion for the poor vis-a- 

Missing Link 


vis the rich. Many people overlooked the fact that Marxism was essentially anti- 

True, Marx was a lucid thinker, a versatile analyst and an innovative historian. 
His materialistic interpretation of history, or its offshoot dialectical materialism, 
appeared so rational, at first impression, that many a youth was enamoured by it. 
The University of Cambridge, England, in the 1930s had a large number of his fol- 
lowers, some of whom came back to India to join the communist movement. The 
sum effect of these factors was that for many educated Indians, regardless of ideo- 
logical predilections, the tools of analysis were influenced by Marx. All this made 
large sections of the intelligentsia, readers as well as writers, non-nationalists in 
their thinking. Nationalism began to be equated, at least in the minds of some, with 
fascism; without, incidentally, bothering to find out what fascism really meant. 
Probably nothing today saps the strength of India's integrity more than this red poi- 

As Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, while addressing students at Aligarh 
Muslim University in January 1948, said: you are Muslims and I am a Hindu. We 
may adhere to different religious faiths or even to none; but that does not take away 
from that cultural inheritance that is yours as well as mine. The past holds us 
together, why should the present or the future divide us in spirit? 

The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January, 1950. Thereafter the 
country prepared for the general election of 1952. Electoral considerations began 
to submerge national interests. Led by Nehru, the Congress began to construct its 
vote bank to ensure victory at the hustings. The credit for reservation of seats for 
the adivasis and the harijans, now called dalits, was claimed by the Congress. 
Muslims, who were shaken by the trauma of partition, were given shelter, since 
many Muslim Leaguers, who stayed on in India were welcomed into the party fold. 
Christians also formed a significant minority and felt assured in the hands of 
Nehru, whom many described as the first English Prime Minister of India. Along- 
with some other sections of the people, the coalition of castes and communities 
assured the Congress of approximately 40 percent electoral support. 

Right through his years as prime minister, Nehru remained loyal to this vote 
bank. As Muslim confidence revived, they realised their electoral strength and at 
least their leaders managed to get more than their pound of flesh from the Congress. 
This has often been described as minority appeasement, a phenomenon which has 
survived, if not also increased, in Indian politics. Any number of specific examples 


Hindu Masjids 

can be quoted. One was the proudly claimed Congress victory in the state elections 
of 198 1 in Gujarat, due to the party adopting the KHAM theory. This acronym rep- 
resented the coalition of Kshatriyas, Harijans, Adivasis, and Muslims. It seems that 
the then biggest party of India divided the electorate in order to retain power, rather 
than unite the country to make it stronger. 

Any number of reasons can be presented to show as to why Hindustan has not 
been enabled to be woven into an integrated whole. Many people keep talking 
about pluralism, diversity, a multicultural society and so on, without also remem- 
bering the importance of national unity.The adage that unity is strength is as old as 
civilisation itself, but one cannot expect unity to be forgotten in normal times. 
Except in times of war, the polity remains obsessed with demands of its sectoral 
supporters. Without national unity, how are progress and prosperity possible? And 
this is certainly not the canvas on which can be painted the proud standard of col- 
lective honour. If China is ahead of India, national unity and collective pride is one 
big explanation. 

Bertrand Russell wrote a whole book to prove that the fundamental concept in 
social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is a fundamental con- 
cept in physics. He summed up one of his important chapters with the words: a 
creed or sentiment of some kind is essential to social cohesion, but if it is to be a 
source of strength it must be genuinely and deeply felt by the great majority of those 
upon whom technical efficiency depends. 

In the case of Hindustan, that sentiment would evidently be nationalism which, 
in its simplest term would mean a macro family, where all people/ee?/ for the coun- 
try as they would for their joint family. The other two factors enumerated by Rus- 
sell for achieving collective honour, or power, are either religion or a great leader. 
Religion should be discounted because that may frightem the minorities. All one 
would expect of them is to reserve their complete loyalty for the sake of the coun- 
try, while living and worshipping as they prefer. A prominent leader, like the Ger- 
man Fuehrer Hitler would not only be fraught with risk, but also be a passing 
phenomenon. Without a sense of collective honour, India will not win consistently. 
Its managers, entrepreneurs, as well as its writers, its batsmen will score centuries, 
but the future of the team will remain problematic. 

VII Myth of Modern History 

That the British divided India in order to rule 
is a widely held belief of Indians 

The truth is quite the opposite. Strategically, the rulers had to unite the colony in 
order to govern it and exploit it economically. At the tactical level, there is no doubt 
that they took advantage of the Hindu Muslim gulf. 

The Rebellion of 1857 proved to be a deadly blow to princely power which was 
largely in the hands of Muslims; they were bitterly upset with the British. The Hin- 
dus were also upset, but not bitter, and took to education in English as well as 
employment under the colonial government. Viceroy Curzon's partition of Bengal 
in 1905 antagonised the Hindus without sufficiently pleasing the Muslims. 

The awakening misled Mahatma Gandhi into believing that Indian future and 
freedom lay in achieving Hindu Muslim unity, even on Muslim terms. The freedom 
struggle led by him, strengthened the myth of divide and rule. That it was a myth, 
was borne out by the partition of the country, as demanded by the Muslim League. 
The continuation of Hindu Muslim tensions even after 1947 proves this contention. 

46 British Imperialism Compared 

Dutch, French and Portuguese were worse 

The author when he started working in 1 957, had a colleague called Jonathan Kim- 
berley. On the mail he received, his name was often preceded by words 'The Hon- 
ourable'. On enquiry, the author discovered that he was the son of a Viscount, a 
little higher than a Lord or even an Earl. Kimberley dressed well, had classy expen- 
sive clothes especially for the winter, and several pairs of elegant shoes. He be- 
haved modestly but his demeanour was aristocratic and certainly very different 
from the rest of the British friends, called expatriate colleagues. The author won- 
dered as to why a son of such a well placed father should come out to work on a 
modest salary? 

When Kimberley was asked, his answer was simple. He had to make a living and 
build a career. He had passed his 'O' level at school which was comparable to our 
class X. And he had no right to a share in his father's landed property. For, he was 
the third son. Only the eldest was the heir to the entire estate. The younger sons had 
no right to inheritance by the rule of primogeniture. A rule believed to be consid- 
ered as one of the secrets of British empire building. Primogeniture prevented frag- 
mentation of land holdings, considered debilitating for agriculture. Moreover, it 
compelled younger sons to go out into the world to seek a living, instead of leading 
idle lives with the help of income from inherited property. This was perhaps more 
true in the period preceding the industrial revolution, when there may not have 
been expanding opportunities for jobs for all the young men coming on the employ- 
ment market. Hence the availability of manpower ready to go overseas to build 
careers. This was perhaps as great a perquisite of the empire, as the transfer of sur- 
pluses from the Indian economy as initially highlighted by Dadabhoy Nauroji 
before the advent of the 20th century. There were many other advantages to pos- 
sessing the empire especially India, which was often described as the jewel in the 

Myth of Modern History 


British crown. The power, prestige and patronage of owning one fourth of the 
world was no small matter in itself. 

Not for a moment should one believe that the greatest empire in history was cre- 
ated without the use of real polity which included the practice of divide and rule. 
Here is an example quoted by Sardar K.M, Panikkar: 104 The institution of separate 
electorates for the Muslims was the first expression of the pernicious two-nation 
theory, which ultimately resulted in the foundation of Pakistan. Published docu- 
ments fully establish the fact that this was created by deliberate policy as an effec- 
tive method to keep the Hindus and Muslims apart. Lady Minto, the wife of the 
Viceroy who was responsible for this piece of political Machiavellianism, noted 
with glee that her husband had by this act ensured for a long time the authority of 
the British in India. The system of separate electorates was a simple device. It pro- 
vided that Muslims should be represented only by Muslims, elected only by Muslim 
voters and, further, that no Muslim could represent a Hindu constituency or vice 
versa. By this expedient the Muslims in India from Cape Comorin to Kashmir 
became a separate political entity. 

Then there was Lord Curzon's partition of Bengal in 1905 which brought to the 
surface a great deal of Hindu Muslim antagonism. Many consider it to be the pre- 
cursor of the second partition of 1947. Although as the British saw it, they were 
dividing the Bengalis who, in their view, were creating too much trouble for the 
imperial power. Nevertheless, all these divisive measures pale into comparative 
insignificance when one recalls unifying policies like the introduction of English 
as the medium of education, and bringing together of the three separate Presiden- 
cies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras under a single Governor General in 1773 and 
so on. 

Apart from English language, exposure to western education was also invalua- 
ble. In the words of Panikkar: the genuine results of English education in India, the 
reaction of the Indian mind to the vital movements of European culture introduced 
to them through English are to be seen in the work of Tagore, Iqbal, Buddha Deva 
Bose, Sarat Chandra Chatterji, Prem Chand, KM. Munshi, Vallathol, Sankara 
Kurup and a host of other great writers who have enriched the literatures of mod- 
ern Indian languages. The language enabled Indians to directly imbibe the results 
of the great movement of enlightenment in Europe. 

On the whole, British rule was basically constructive as well as considerate, 
which does not mean that they were charitable or even altruistic. Their self was 


Hindu Masjids 

their priority but once that was secured, Indian interests were not ignored. For 
example, the British would not give up their hundred rupees for anyone's hundred 
rupees. But they would certainly give up their one rupee, if as a result, someone 
else gained fifty. The approach generally was enlightened by any standards of 
imperialism, which in the nature of things is exploitative. The textile mills of Man- 
chester may not have flourished, but for the thumbs of Bengal weavers being bro- 
ken so that they could not produce fine muslin. Yet in the words of Sardar Panikkar, 
but when all this and more has been said and the truth of the criticism accepted, 
the credit balance of this unique experiment (British rule in India) still remains 
substantial and impressive. 

Another way of checking how far this was true would be to compare the British 
with other European imperialists and what they all left behind. The Dutch, accord- 
ing to Panikkar, took no interest in the education of the Indonesians. This afforded 
an opportunity for Islam to consolidate its position. Education became the effective 
monopoly of the Muslim priesthood, and mosques were the natural centres from 
which Islamic learning influenced the masses. The Dutch, he continued, alone of 
the European nations in the East carried out a policy which systematically reduced 
a whole population to the status of plantation labour, without recognising any 
moral or legal obligation to them. 

The Portuguese were neither creative nor considerate but, unlike the mercenary 
approach of the Dutch, had a religious or a proselytising mission. They did what 
they could to convert their subjects to Roman Catholicism. To that extent, the Por- 
tuguese had a mission beyond mere economic exploitation of their colonies. Brazil 
is their ongoing contribution to civilisation. In Angola and Mozambique, their 
record was not a progressive one. Indonesia, at independence, was a poor testimo- 
nial of Dutch colonial rule. 

The French had a broader outlook; they considered their colonies as parts of 
metropolitan France. Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia were their north African colo- 
nies, as were the many French speaking countries of west Africa. The spread of cul- 
ture was their mission beyond economic exploitation. Unfortunately, neither 
Vietnam nor Algeria were given up gracefully. 

In sharp contrast, the British record in the aftermath of World War II was one of 
goodwill and graceful withdrawal from its colonies. Remember Canada and the 
United States of America were also once British colonies. As were Australia and 
New Zealand and for all of them Britain could claim some credit. Which means that 

Myth of Modern History 


fundamentally the British had a constructive, if not also a creative interest in the 
growth of civilisation. Their approach was essentially positive, whereas divide and 
rule smacks of negativism. 

47 British Contribution 

It is not often in upper middle class society that one feels threatened of being beaten 
up. Yet surprisingly, that is what nearly happened at a small gathering in Kolkata 
during February 2001. Since the author knew quite a few of the gentjemen present 
who although well to do themselves, had communist sympathies. Many of them in 
their day had studied at British universities but were anti-British. Without giving 
deliberate thought, the author had implicitly presumed that this was not an unnat- 
ural sentiment of subjects towards their imperialist masters. 

Since the time of Dadabhai Nauroji, it was known as to how much produce the 
British had taken away from our economy. They had managed to buy raw materials 
cheap and sell manufactured goods expensive. The Marxists are more familiar with 
economics than the average layman. Hence, perhaps, they are more anti-British. 
Nevertheless, at some stage during the evening, the author happened to say that the 
British did more for Indian unity than we realised. Two or three persons objected 
but there was no uproar until it was added that they did not divide and rule as a mat- 
ter of ongoing strategy. 

The reaction in the room was almost explosive. Social etiquette was given a go 
by. The host made efforts to bring about peace in one corner of the room. A few 
more guests joined the conversation as they appeared interested in hearing an 
unconventional point of view. English language was mentioned, as was the build- 
ing of the railways and, above all, bringing together the separate Presidencies of 
Bombay, Calcutta and Madras together by the Regulating Act of 1773 when War- 
ren Hastings became Governor General. 

Even after the British crown assumed direct rule in 1858, no attempt was made 
to redivide the country. Uncannily, the Viceroy for the princely states and the Gov- 
ernor General for British India were combined in the same person. Since these were 

Myth of Modern History 


facts, the adversaries could not dispute them. But they quoted communal riots, par- 
tition of Bengal and eventually the partition of India as clear examples of the Brit- 
ish policy of divide and rule. When this contention was refuted the gathering 
listened patiently until one of the more inebriated persons leapt up and asked as to 
how then was it proposed to justify India's secular society? 

Shall we debate the proposition of divide et impera the Latin prototype of divide 
and rule. Assuming that the British had adopted the policy of divide, would they 
have taken the structural measures that they did early in their rule over India ? For 
example, the three Presidencies of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras had been estab- 
lished independently of one another. Yet, they were brought under one umbrella by 
the Regulating Act of 1773, whereafter Warren Hastings was promoted from Gov- 
ernor of Bengal to Governor General of India. Decades later, the Agra Presidency 
was formed, also to be answerable to the Governor General and not directly to the 
Board of Directors of the East India Company in London. 

If the policy was to divide, why was Macaulay supported in his zeal for intro- 
ducing English as the medium of instruction? This reform contributed more to 
bringing Indians together than any other. Without the English language how could 
a Bengali converse freely with a Gujarati? There was no rashtra bhasha or national 
language then. And without education in English, would our leaders across the sub- 
continent have imbibed from the west the spirit of liberty and the concept of nation- 
alism. For purposes of administration, a few Indian officials could have been 
especially trained in English. For the rest, education would have continued in the 
so called vernacular languages. 

It may be argued that the Directors of East India Company knew how to manage 
a business, but not how to govern an empire. Hence they combined the presidencies 
under the Governor General and introduced English as the medium of instruction. 
On the British crown assuming the administration of India in 1858, many changes 
were made, but none in the direction of abolishing English, or making the presiden- 
cies more autonomous. Instead, the office of Viceroy for the princely states and of 
the Governor General for British India were combined in the same person. 

It can also be argued that the British began their rule in the 1 8th century without 
any intention to divide India, and it was only after some experience, developed sec- 
ond thoughts. If that were so, they would have introduced structural changes in the 
early decades of the 20th century. For example, they could have done to other prov- 
inces what they did with Burma, now Myanmar, which was separated from the rest 


Hindu Masjids 

of India in 1937. There was no protest or even a murmur at this change. Sind was 
taken away from the Bombay presidency and constituted as a separate province. 
Bihar and Orissa were similarly excluded from the Bengal presidency and made 
into separate provinces. Again without a murmur or protest. 

The British could have taken steps, with the full support of the rajas and the 
nawabs, to try to ensure that British India did not get easily integrated with the rest 
of the country. Instead, the Independence of India Act 1947, passed by Parliament 
in London, provided that every princely state would either join the Indian Union or 
the dominion of Pakistan. None of this smacks of a policy of divide and rule. 

On the contrary, it would be useful to recount what Indian scholars and national 
leaders had to say about British performance. Let us begin with Sir Jadunath 
Sarkar, one of the most distinguished Indian historians of his time. The moderniza- 
tion of India is the work of the English, and it has affected the entire Indian conti- 
nent. In many respects the English have continued, but in a more thorough fashion 
and over a much wider area of India, the work begun by the Mughal Empire. In 
some other directions they have introduced new forces which were unknown in the 
Mughal age. The English influence on Indian life and thought, which is still very 
far from its completion, is comparable only to the ancient Aiyan stimulus, in its 
intensity and its all pervasive character. 

The first gift of the English to India is universal peace or freedom from foreign 
invasion and internal disorder. How valuable peace is for national growth can be 
best understood by contrast if we study the history of western India before 181 7 or 
of the Punjab in the eighteenth century. The English have admitted us to the entire 
outside world, not only in Asia, but in all other continents as well, and they have 
admitted the rest of the world to us, in a degree not dreamt of under Muslim rule. 

The greatest gift of the English, after universal peace and the modernization of 
society, and indeed the direct result of these two forces, is the Renaissance which 
marked our nineteenth century. Modern India owes everything to it. The Renais- 
sance was at first an intellectual awakening and influenced our literature, educa- 
tion, thought, and art; but in the next generation it became a moral force and 
reformed our society and religion. Still later, in the third generation from its com- 
mencement, it has led to the beginning of the economic modernization of India. 

An 'aggressive ' Hinduism replaced the shy passive creed that formerly used to 
be almost ashamed of itself and to stand ever on the defensive amidst growing foes 

Myth of Modern History 


and a diminishing number of adherents. The uniformity of administrative system 
which is a gift of the British age, they have also been tending to fuse the various 
races and creeds of India into one homogeneous people and to bring about social 
equality and community of life and thought, which are the necessary basis of 
nationality. 105 

Awareness that the country's borders must be secured came with British rule. 
East India Company did not concern itself with the issue. Until the annexation of 
the Punjab in 1 849, the north west was nowhere near the British Indian border. Not 
much however was done by the Governors General even after the British crown 
took over direct rule of India in 1858. In fact, it was not until after Lord Lytton 
became Viceroy and Governor General in 1876, a frontier policy began to be offi- 
cially evolved. Afghanistan was the central concern, because beyond it was the 
expanding Tzarist empire, and below it, in the south, were what were called tribal 
areas, belonging to the Afridis and others. Even then, there was no precisely delin- 
eated border between India and Afghanistan until 1 894 when the Durand Line was 
drawn after Sir Mortimer Durand negotiated it by visiting Kabul. 

Lord Curzon, who became Viceroy in 1899, was actutely conscious of the 
importance of secure borders. In his words quoted by Michael Edwards, in his book 
High Noun of Empire, London 1965: ' frontiers are indeed the razor's edge on 
which hang suspended the modern issues of war or peace, of life or death to 
nations. Edwards continued, Britain 's nervousness about the North-West Frontier 
was of long standing. All the invasions of India except that of the British themselves 
had come by way of the passes of the north-west. 

Other frontiers also presented problems which could be menacing. During the 
first months of Curzon's administration, hostile Russian activity was not confined 
to the hills of the north west. In Burma, for example, the Russian government asked 
permission to establish a vice-consulate at Rangoon. 

In Curzon's view, this could be intended as nothing other than a centre for espi- 
onage. At Kashgar, too, in what was then a centre known as Chinese Turkestan, the 
Russian representative was engaged in trying to undermine the position of the 
British Agent. 

Edwards further said, Tibet had sent troops over the border into the little state 
ofSikkim. Under the terms of a treaty between Britain and China concluded in 
1 890, Sikkim was under British protection and her actual ruler was a British polit- 
ical officer. Theoretically, Tibet was under Chinese protection. The Tibetans, 

Hindu Masjids 

aware of China 's military weakness, were preparing to throw off Chinese rule and 
the Chinese were unable, even had they been willing, to enforce the treaty provi- 
sions on the Tibetans. 

Along India's northern border was Nepal. Curzon was surprised to discover that 
relations between British India and the independent state of Nepal were practically 
non-existent. Nepal's isolation constituted a danger to India. The passes from 
Nepal were fairly easy to cross and it seemed just possible to him, though in fact it 
was highly unlikely, that Russia might have her eyes on that route into India. Cur- 
zon therefore invited the Nepalese prime minister to visit India. 

Further east, the McMahon Line was drawn as the border between Tibet and 
Assam. It was negotiated between Lhasa and the British at the Simla conference 
held during 1913-14. All in all, although Lord Curzon might have been overzeal- 
ous, but the British government demonstrated the need to be aware of the impor- 
tance of clearly delineated frontiers. How one wishes that the government of 
independent India had been equally conscious? Had that been so, the Nehru gov- 
ernment could have had the Sino-Indian frontier reconfirmed in exchange for rec- 
ognising Peking's, now Beijing, suzerainty over Tibet way back in 1950. 
Regarding British intentions, why should they have governed so diligently had 
their plan been to leave India distraught and divided? 

Sir Percival Griffiths ICS, who served all his working life in India and wrote 
extensively, also deserves to be quoted. Speaking at the City of London Tavern on 
the occasion of a dinner given to him by the Honourable East India Company on 
6th July 1831 Raja Rammohan Roy said: Before the period in which India had 
become tributary to Great Britain it was the scene of the most frequent and bloody 
conflicts. In the various provinces of the Eastern Dominions, nothing was to be 
seen but plunder and devastation; there was no security for property or for life, 
until, by the interference of this country, the great sources of discord were checked, 
education has advanced and the example of the British system of dominion had a 
conciliating effect on the natives of the East. Mr. Gokhale, apostrophising the Brit- 
ish, said: The blessings of peace, the establishment of law and order, the introduc- 
tion of Western education and the freedom of speech and appreciation of liberal 
institutions which have followed in its wake - all these are things which stand to the 
credit of your rule. 

After speaking of the anarchy and insecurity of the pre-British period, Dadabhai 
Naoroji goes on to say, contrast this with the results of British rule. Law and order 

Myth of Modern History 


are its first blessings. Security of life and property is a recognised right of the peo- 
ple, and is more or less attained according to the means available, or the sense of 
duty of the officials to whom the sacred duty is entrusted. The native now learns 
and enjoys what justice between man and man means and that law instead of the 
despot 's will is above all. To the enlightenment of the country, the results of the uni- 
versities and educational establishments bear witness. In place of the old general 
darkness and ignorance, thousands of natives have derived, and millions will 
derive hereafter, the benefit of the highest degree of enlightenment which man has 

In material progress it can easily be seen what impulse will be given to the 
development of the natural resources of the country by railways, canals, public 
roads, etc., but more by the introduction of English enterprise generally. 

The last but not least of the benefits which India is deriving at the hands of the 
British is the new political life they are being inspired with. They are learning the 
most important lesson of the highest political condition that a nation can aspire to. 
The freedom of speech which the natives are now learning the necessity of and are 
enjoying, and with which the natives can now talk to their rulers face to face for 
what they want is another invaluable blessing.™ 


Years ago in a town in Gujarat called Savarkundla, I happened to thank the host for 
entertaining me to dinner. Instead of either saying nothing or acknowledging the 
gesture, he protested. By saying thanks, you feel, he said, you have squared your 
obligation. And now you need not reciprocate with a meal when I am next in Delhi. 
Since then, I am careful not to thank my benefactors in a hurry. Hindu Masjids 
would not have seen the light of print, but for the spontaneous help I have received 
from several of my colleagues. For digging up facts, finding information and pur- 
suing research, no one could have been quicker than K.R. Phanda; so I believe. 
Having found out, he did not abandon me to think and write. His thoughts often set 
me on the right course. 

Photographs taken specially and at the sites, I feel, are an invaluable strength of 
the book. Few descriptions, even if backed by quotations, convince a reader as 
quickly as pictures do. My journalist friends tell me that a graphic photograph is 
worth more than a thousand words. If this proves true of Hindu Masjids, the credit 
goes to S.C.Chaturvedi. Had it not been for the desktop backing by V.P. Goyal, 
such speed was inconceivable for me. 

Annexure I 

Act No. VII of 1904 

Passed by the Governor General of India in Council 

(Received the assent of the Governor General on the 18th March, 1904) 

An Act to provide for the preservation of Ancient Monuments and of objects of 
archaeological, historical or artistic interest. 

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the preservation of ancient monuments, 
for the exercise of control over traffic in antiquities and over excavation in certain 
places, and for the protection and acquisition in certain cases of ancient monu- 
ments and of objects of archaeological, historical or artistic interest; It is hereby 
enacted as follows: 

1. (J) This Act may be called the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, 

(2) It extends to the whole of British India, inclusive of British Baluchistan, the 
Sonthal Parganas and the Pargana of Spiti. 

2. In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context: 

(1) "ancient monument" means any structure, erection or monument, or any 
tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription or mono- 
lith,which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest, or any remains 
thereof, and includes — 

(a) the site of an ancient monument; 

(b) such portion of land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as may 
be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving such 
monument; and 

(c) the means of access to and convenient inspection of an ancient monu- 

(2) "antiquities" include any moveable objects which the Government, by rea- 
son of their historical or archaeological associations, may think it necessary to 
protect against injury, removal or dispersion: 


Hindu Masjids 

(3) "Commissioner" includes any officer authorized by the Local Government 
to perform the duties of a Commissioner under this Act; 

(4) "maintain" and "maintenance" include the fencing, covering in, repairing, 
restoring and cleansing of a protected monument, and the doing of any act which 
may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining a protected monument or of 
securing convenient access thereto: 

(5) "land" includes a revenue free estate, a revenue-paying estate, and a perma- 
nent tranferable tenure, whether such estate or tenure be subject to incumbrances 
or not; and 

(6) "owner" includes a joint owner invested with powers of management on 
behalf of himself and other joint owners, and any manager or trustee exercising 
powers of management over an ancient monument, and the successor in title of 
any such owner and the successor in office of any such manager or trustee: 

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be deemed to extend the powers which 
may lawfully be exercised by such manager or trustee. 

3. (1) The Local Government, may, by notification in the local official Gazette, 
declare an ancient monument to be a protected monument within the mean- 
ing of this Act. 

(2) A copy of every notification published under sub-section (1) shall be fixed 
up in a conspicuous place on or near the monument, together with an intimation 
that any objections to the issue of the notification received by the Local Govern- 
ment within one month from the date when it is so fixed up will be taken into con- 

(3) On the expiry of the said period of one month, the Local Government, after 
considering the objections, if any, shall confirm or withdraw the notification. 

(4) A notification published under this section shall, unless and until it is with- 
drawn, be conclusive evidence of the fact that the monument to which it relates is 
an ancient monument within the meaning of this Act. 

Ancient Monuments 

4. (1 ) The Collector, with the sanction of the Local Government, may purchase 
or take a lease of any protected monument. 

(2) The Collector, with the like sanction, may accept a gift or bequest of any 
protected monument. 

(3) The owner of any protected monument may, by written instrument, consti- 
tute the Commissioner the guardian of the monument, and the Commissioner may, 
with the sanction of the Local Government, accept such guardianship. 

Act No. VII of 1904 


(4) When the Commissioner has accepted the guardianship of a monument 
under sub-section (3), the owner shall, except as expressly provided in this Act, 
have the same estate, right, title and interest in and to the monument as if the Com- 
missioner had not been constituted guardian thereof. 

(5) When the Commissioner has accepted the guardianship of a monument 
under sub-section (3), the provisions of this Act, relating to agreements executed 
under section 5 shall apply to the written instrument executed under the said sub- 

(6) Where a protected monument is without an owner, the Commissioner may 
assume the guardianship of the monument. 

5. (I) The Collector may, with the previous sanction of the Local Government, 
propose to the owner to enter into an agreement with the Secretary of State 
for India in Council for the preservation of any protected monument in his 

(2) An agreement under this section may provide for the following matters, or 
for such of them as it may be found expedient to include in the agreement: 

(a) the maintenance of the monument; 

(b) the custody of the monument, and the duties of any person who may be 
employed to watch it; 

(c) the restriction of the owner's right to destroy, remove, alter or deface the 
monument or to build on or near the site of the monument; 

(d) the facilities of access to be permitted to the public or to any portion of 
the public and to persons deputed by the owner or the Collector to 
inspect or maintain the monument; 

(e) the notice to be given to the Government in case the land on which the 
monument is situated is offered for sale by the owner, and the right to be 
reserved to the Government to purchase land, or any specified portion of 
such land, at its market value; 

(f) the payment of any expenses incurred by the owner or by the Govern- 
ment in connection with the preservation of the monument; 

(g) the proprietary or other rights which are to vest in His Majesty in respect 
of the monument when any expenses are incurred by the Government in 
connection with the preservation of the monument; 

(h) the appointment of an authority to decide any dispute arising out of the 
agreement; and 

(i) any matter connected with the preservation of the monument which is a 
proper subject of agreement between the owner and the Government. 


Hindu Masjids 

(3) An agreement under this section may be executed by the Collector on behalf 
of the Secretary of State for India in Council, but shall not be so executed until it 
has been approved by the Local Government. 

(4) The terms of an agreement under this section may be altered from time to 
time with the sanction of the Local Government and with the consent of the owner. 

(5) With the previous sanction of the Local Government, the Collector may ter- 
minate an agreement under this section on giving six months' notice in writing to 
the owner. 

(6) The owner may terminate an agreement under this section on giving six 
months' notice to the Collector. 

(7) An agreement under this section shall be binding an any person claiming to 
be owner of the monument to which it relates, through or under a party by whom 
or on whose behalf the agreement was executed. 

(8) Any rights acquired by Government in respect of expenses incurred in pro- 
tecting or preserving a monument shall not be affected by the termination of an 
agreement under this section. 

6. (1) If the owner is unable, by reason of infancy or other disability, to act for 
himself, the person legally competent to act on his behalf may exercise the 
powers conferred upon an owner by section 5. 

(2) In the case of village-property, the headman or other village-officer exer- 
cising powers of management over such property may exercise the powers con- 
ferred upon an owner by section 5. 

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to empower any person not being 
of the same religions as the persons on whose behalf he is acting to make or exe- 
cute an agreement relating to a protected monument which or any part of which is 
periodically used for the religious worship or observances of that religion. 

7. (I) If the Collector apprehends that the owner or occupier of a monument 
intends to destroy, remove, alter, deface, or imperil the monument or to build 
on or near the site thereof in contravention of the terms of an agreement for 
its preservation under section 5, the Collector may make an order prohibiting 
any such contravention of the agreement. 

(2) If an owner or other person who is bound by an agreement for the preserva- 
tion or maintenance of a monument under section 5 refuses to do any act which is 
in the opinion of the Collector necessary to such preservation or maintenance, or 
neglects to do any such act within such reasonable time as may be fixed by the 
Collector, the Collector may authorize any person to do any such act, and the 
expense of doing any such act or such portion of the expense as the owner may be 

Act No. VII of 1904 


liable to pay under the agreement may be recovered from the owner as if it were 
an arrear of land-revenue. 

(3) A person aggrieved by an order made under this section may appeal to the 
Commissioner, who may cancel or modify it and whose decision shall be final. 

8. Every person who purchases, at a sale for arrears of land-revenue or any 
other public demand, or at a sale made under the Bengal Patni Taluks, Regu- 
lation, 1819 (8 of 1819), an estate or tenure in which is situated a monument 
in respect of which any instrument has been executed by the owner for the 
time being, under section 4 or section 5, and every person claiming any title 
to a monument from, through or under an owner who executed any such 
instrument, shall be bound by such instrument. 

9. (I) If any owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under 
section 5, for the preservation of a protected monument, refuses or fails to 
enter into such an agreement when proposed to him by the Collector, and if 
any endowment has been created for the purpose of keeping such monument 
in repair, or for that purpose among others, the Collector may institute a suit in 
the court of the District Judge, or, if the estimated cost of repairing the monu- 
ment does not exceed one thousand rupees, may make an application to the 
District Judge for the proper application of such endowment or part thereof. 

(2) On the hearing of an application under sub-section (1), the District Judge 
may summon and examine the owner and any person whose evidence appears to 
him necessary, and may pass an order for the proper application of the endowment 
or of any part thereof, and any such order may be executed as if it were the decree 
of a Civil Court. 

10. (1) If the local Government apprehends that a protected monument is in dan- 
der of being destroyed, injured or allowed to fall into decay, the Local Gov- 
ernment may proceed to acquire it under the provisions of the Land 
Acquisition Act, 1 894, as if the preservation of a protected monument were a 
"public purpose" within the meaning of that Act. 

(2) The powers of compulsory purchase conferred by sub-section (1) shall not 
be exercised in the case of- 

(a) any monument which or any part of which is periodically used for reli- 
gious observances; or 

(b) any monument which is the subject of a subsisting agreement executed 
under section 5. 

(3) In any case other than the cases referred to in sub-section (2) the said pow- 
■ ers of compulsory purchase shall not be exercised unless the owner or other person 

competent to enter into an agreement under section 5 has failed, within such rea- 


Hindu Masjids 

sonable period as the Collector may fix in this behalf, to enter into an agreement 
proposed to him under the said section or has terminated or given notice of his 
intention to terminate such an agreement. 

11. (I J The Commissioner shall maintain every monument in respect of which 
the Government has acquired any of the rights mentioned in section 4 or 
which the Government has acquired under section 10. 

(2) When the Commisioner has accepted the guardianship of a monument 
under section 4, he shall, for the purpose of maintaining such monument, have 
access to the monument at all reasonable times, by himself and by his agents, sub- 
ordinates and workmen, for the purpose of inspecting the monument, and for the 
purpose of bringing such materials and doing such acts as he may consider neces- 
sary or desirable for the maintenance thereof. 

12. The Commissioner may receive voluntary contributions towards the cost of 
maintaining a protected monument and may give orders as to the manage- 
ment and application of any funds so received by him: 

Provided that no contribution received under this section shall be applied to any 
purpose other than the purpose for which it was contributed. 

13. (I) A place of worship or a shrine maintained by the Government under this 
Act shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with its character. 

(2) Where the Collecter has, under section 4, purchased or taken a lease of any 
protected monument, or has accepted a gift or bequest, or the Commissioner has, 
under the same section, accepted the guardianship thereof, and such monument, 
or any part thereof, is periodically used for religious worship or observances by 
any community, the Collector shall make due provision for the protection of such 
monument, or such part thereof, from pollution or desecration — 

(a) by prohibiting the entry therein, except in accordance with conditions 
prescribed with the concurrence of the persons in religious charge of the 
said monument or part thereof, of any person not entitled so to enter by 
the religious usages of the community by which the monument or part 
thereof is used, or 

(b) by taking such other as he may think necessary in this behalf. 

14. With the sanction of the Local Government, the Commissioner may- 

(a) where rights have been acquired by Government in respect of any mon- 
ument under this Act by virtue of any sale, lease, gift or will, relinquish 
the rights so acquired to the person who would for the time being be the 
owner of the monument if such rights had not been acquired; or 

(b) reliquish any guardianship of a monument which he has accepted under 
this Act. 

Act No. VII of 1904 


15. (1) Subject to such rules as may after previous publication be made by the 
Local Government, the public shall have a right of access to any monument 
maintained by the Government under this Act. 

(2) In making any rule under sub-section (1) the Local Government may pro- 
vide that a breach of it shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty 

16. Any person other than the owner who destroys, removes, injures, alters, 
defaces or imperils a protected monument, and any owner who destroys, 
removes, injures, alters, defaces or imperils a monument maintained by Gov- 
ernment under this Act or in respect of which an agreement has been exe- 
cuted under section 5, and any owner or occupier who contravenes an order 
made under section 7, sub-section (1), shall be punishable with fine which 
may extend to five thousand rupees, or with imprisonment which may 
extend to three months or with both. 

Traffic in Antiquities 

17. (1) If the Governor General in Council apprehends that antiquities are being 
sold or removed to the detriment of India, or of any neighbouring country, he 
may, by notification in the Gazette of India, prohibit or restrict the bringing 
or taking by sea or by land of any antiquities or class of antiquities described 
in the notification into or out of of British India or any specified part of Brit- 
ish India. 

(2) Any person who brings or takes or attempts to bring or take any such anti- 
quites into or out of British India or any part of British India in contravention of a 
notification issued under sub-section (1), shall be punishable with fine which may 
extend to five hundred rupees. 

(3) Antiquities in respect of which an offence referred to in sub-section (2) has 
been committed shall be liable to confiscation. 

(4) An officer of Customs, or an officer of Police of a grade not lower than Sub- 
Inspector, duly empowered by the Local Government in this behalf, may search 
any vessel, cart or other means of conveyance, and may open any baggage or 
package of goods, if he has reason to believe that goods in respect of which an 
offence has been committed under sub-section (2) are contained therein. 

(5) A person who complains that the power of search mentioned in sub- 
section (4) has been vexatiously or improperly exercised may address his com- 
plaint to the Local Government, and the Local Government shall pass such order 
and may award such compensation, if any, as appears to it to be just. 


Hindu Masjids 

Protection of Sculptures, Carvings, Images, 
Bas-reliefs, Inscriptions or like objects (Section 18) 

18. (1) If the Local Government considers that any sculptures, carvings, images, 
bas-reliefs, inscriptions or other like objects ought not to be moved from the 
place where they are without the sanction of the Government, the Local 
Government may, by notification in the local official Gazette, direct that any 
such object or any class of objects shall not be moved unless with the written 
permission of the Collector. 

(2) A person applying for the permission mentioned in sub-section (1) shall 
specify the object or objects which he proposes to move, and shall furnish, in 
regard to such object or objects, any information which the Collector may require. 

(3) If the Collector refuses to grant such permission, the applicant may appeal 
to the Commissioner, whose decision shall be final. 

(4) Any person who moves any object in contravention of a notification issued 
under sub-section (1), shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hun- 
dred rupees. 

(5) If the owner of any property proves to the satisfaction of the Local Govern- 
ment that he has suffered any loss or damage by reason of the inclusion of such 
property in a notification published under sub-section (1), the Local Government 
shall either — 

(a) exempt such property from the said notification; 

(b) purchase such property, if it be movable, at its market value or; 

(c) pay compensation for any loss or damage sustained by the owner of 
such property if it be immovable. 

19. (I) If the Local Government apprehends that any object mentioned in a noti- 
fication issued under section 18, sub-section (1) is in danger of being 
destroyed, removed, injured or allowed to fall into decay, the Local Govern- 
ment may pass orders for the compulsory purchase of such object at its mar- 
ket-value, and the Collector shall thereupon give notice to the owner of the 
object to be purchased. 

(2) The power of compulsory purchase given by this section shall not extend 

(a) any image or symbol actually used for the purpose of any religious 
observance; or 

Act No. VII of 1904 


(b) anything which the owner desires to retain on any reasonable ground 
personal to himself or to any of his ancestors or to any member of his 


20. (1) If the Local Government is of opinion that excavation within the limits of 
any local area ought to be restricted or regulated for the purpose of protect- 
ing or preserving any ancient monument, the Local Government may, by 
notification in the local official Gazette, make rules- 
fa) fixing the boundaries of the area to which the rules are to apply; and 

(b) prescribing the authority by which, and the terms on which licenses to 
excavate may be granted. 

(2) The power to make rules given by this section is subject to the condition of 
the rules being made after previous publication. 

(3) A rule made under this section may provide that any person committing a 
breach thereof shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred 

(4) If any owner or occupier of land included in a notification under sub- 
section (1), proves to the satisfaction of the Local Government that he has sus- 
tained any loss by reason of such land being so included, the Local Government 
shall pay compensation in respect of such loss. 


21. (I) The market value of any property which Government is empowered to 
purchase at such value under this Act, or the amount of compensation to be 
paid by Government in respect of anything done under this Act, shall, where 
any dispute arises touching the amount of such market value or compensa- 
tion, be ascertained in the manner provided by the Land Acquisition Act, 

1 of 1 894 1 894, section 3 , 8 to 34, 45 to 47, 5 1 and 52 so far as they can be made appli- 


Provided that when making an inquiry under the said Land Acquisition Act, 
1894, the Collector shall be assisted by two assessors, one of whom shall be a 
competent person nominated by the Collector, and one person nominated by the 
owner or, in case the owner fails to nominate an assessor within such reasonable 
time as may be fixed by the Collector in this behalf, by the Collector. 

22. A Magistrate of the third class shall not have jurisdiction to try any person 
charged with an offence against this Act. 

23. (I) The Governor General in Council or the Local Government may make 
rules for carrying out any of the purposes of this Act. 


Hindu Masjids 

(2) The power to make rules given by this section is subject to the condition of 
the rules being made after previous publication. 

24. No suit for compensation and no criminal proceeding shall lie against any 
public servant in respect of any act done, or in good faith intended to be 
done, in the exercise of any power conferred by this Act. 

Annexure II 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and 
Arch/Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951. 

No. LXXI OF 1951 

An Act to declare certain ancient and historical monuments and archaeo- 
logical sites and remains in Part A States and Part D States to be of national 
importance and to provide for certain matters connected therewith. 

|28th November, 19511 

BE it enacted by Parliament as follows: — 

1 . Short title - This Act may be called the Ancient and Historical Monuments 
and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) 
Act, 1951. 

2. Declaration of certain monuments and archaeological sites and remains to be 
of national importance. - The ancient and historical monuments referred to 
or specified in Part I of the Schedule and the archaeological sites and remains 
referred to or specified in Part II thereof are hereby declared, respectively, to 
be ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of 
national importance. 

3. Application of Act VII of 1 904 to ancient monuments, etc., declared to be of 
national importance. -All ancient and historical monuments and all archaeo- 
logical sites and remains declared by this Act to be of national importance 
shall be deemed to be protected monuments and protected areas, respec- 
tively, within the meaning of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 
1904, and the provisions of that Act shall apply accordingly to the ancient 
and historical monuments or archaeological sites and remains, as the case 
may be, and shall be deemed to have so applied at all relevant times. 


Hindu Masjids 


(See Section 2) 
Part I 

Ancient and Historical Monuments 

I. All ancient and historical monuments in Part A States and Part B States 
which, before the commencement of this Act, have either been declared by 
the Central Government, to be protected monuments within the meaning of 
the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1 904. or which have been taken 
possession of by the Central Government as protected monuments. 

II. The following ancient and historical monuments in Part B States not covered 
by Item No. I immediately preceding: — 

Serial Name of monument Locality 

Hyderabad State 

District A urangabad 

1 . Ajanta Caves 

2. Aurangabad Caves 

3. Daulatabad Fort and Monuments therein (e.g. 
Chand Minar) 

4. Ellora Caves 

5. Pithalkhora Caves 

6. Tomb of Aurangzeb 

7. Tomb of Malik Ambar 

8. Tomb of Rabia Daurani (Bibi-ka-Maqbira) 

District Bidar 

9. Baibomani Tombs 

10. Barid Shahi Tombs 

11. Bidar Fort 

12. Madrasa Mahmud Gavvan 

District Gulbarga 

13. Gulbarga Fort and Great Mosque in the Fort 

1 4. Hafth Gumbad Tomb of Firoz Shah 




Bidar City 


The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Arch/Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 


Serial Name of monument Locality 


District Hyderabad 

15. CharMinar Hyderabad City 

16. Golconda Fort and Tombs Golconda 

District Parbhani 

17. Nagnath Temple Aundha 

District Raichur 

18. Alampur Temples Akmpur 

19. Mahadev Temple Itta §» 

District Warangal 

20. Ramappa Temple Palampet 

2 1 . Thousand Pillar Temple Hanamkonda 

22. Warangal Fort, Defences and Gateways Warangal 

Madhya Bharat State 
District Bhilsa 

1. Athakhamba Gyaraspur 

2. Bajramath Do 

3. Hindola Torana Do 

4. Maladevi Temple Gyaraspur 

5. BaraKhambi Udaypur 

6. Pisnarika Temple Do 

7. Udayeshwar Mahadeva Temple Do 

8. Bhimagaja Pathari 

9. Caves Do 

10. Bijamandal Mosque Bhilsa 

11. Lohangi Hill Capital Do 

12. Caves 1 to 20 Udaygiri 

13. Dashavatara Temple Badoh 

14. Gadarmal Temple Do 


Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of monument Locality 

15. Jain Temple Do 

16. SolaKhambi Do 

17. Khamb Baba (Heliodoras Pillar) Besnagar 

18. Brick Temples (Two) Kherst 

19. Open Air Museum Do 

20. Fort Ater 

District Dewas 

21. Siddheshwar Temple Nemawan 

22. Unfinished Temple Do. 

District Dhar 

23. Adar Gumbaz Mand 

24. Alamgir Gate Do. 

25. Ancient Hindu Baodi Do. 

26. Ancient Hindu well Do. 

27. Andheri Baodi Do. 

28. Ashrafi Mahal Do. 

29. Baz Bahadur's palace Do. 

30. Bhagwania Gate Do. 

3 1 . Bhangi Gate Do. 

32. Champa Baodi Do. 

33. Chhapan Mahal Do. 

34. Chistikhan's Mahal Do. 

35. Chor Kot Do. 

36. Chorakot Mosque Do. 

37. Nabar Jharokha Compound Do. 

38. Daika Mahal Do. 

39. Daike Chhote Behen ka Mahal Do. 

40. Darya Khan's tomb Do. 

41. Delhi Gate Do. 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Arch/Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 

Serial Name of monument Locality 






Dilawarkhan's Mosque 



Ek-khamba Mahal 



Gadhasa's Palace 



Gadhasa's shop 



Gadi Dharmaja 






Hathi Gate 



Hathi Mahal 



Hindola Mahal 



Hoshang's tomb 



Jahaz Mahal 



Jahangirpur Gate 



Jama Masjid 



Kali Baodi 



Kapoor Talao and the ruins on its banks 



Lai Bag 



Lai Bungalow 



Lohani Caves 



Lohani Gate 



Jail Mahal 


Nfihar Tharoka 

, > ill 1U1 JL1U1 V1VU 



Mahmud's tomb 



Malik Moghi's Mosque 



Mosque near Sopi Tanka 



Mosque near Tarapur Gate 



Mosque north-west of Daryakhan's tomb 



Nameless Tomb 



Nameless Tomb 



Nameless Tomb 



Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of monument Locality 



Nameless Tomb 






Rampol Gate and the Mosque opposite to it 



Royal Palaces 



Rupmati Pavilion 



Caravan Sarai 



Sarai near Daryakhan's Tomb 



Sat Kothari Cave 



Somoti Kund 



Songarh Gate 



Tarapur Gate 



Teveli Mahal 



Tomb and Mosque attached 



Tomb north of Almgir Gate 



Tomb north of Daryakhan's tomb 



Tower of Victory 



Tripolia Gate 



T T * 1 * T\ 1 * 

Ujah Baodi 



Water Palace 



Bhoja Shala and Kamal Maula's Mosque 



Latki Masjid 



Buddhist Caves 1 to 7 



Water Palace 


District Gwalior 


Mahadeva Temple 



Tila Monument 



Tomb of Mohammad Ghaus 



District Guna 

Jain Temples 1 to 5 

Budhi Chander 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and ArchALological Sites and Remains 297 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 

Serial Name of monument Locality 


99. Chanderi Fort and: 

Bada Madarasa Chanderi 

Battisi Baodi Do. 

Badal Mahal gateway Do. 

Jama Masjid Do. 

Kati Ghati Do. 

Koshak Mahal Do. 

Nizam-ud-din's tomb Do. 

Shahajadi-ka-Roza Do. 

100. Mohajamata temple Terahi 

101. Monastery Do. 

102. Toranagate Do. 

103. Monastery Kadwaha 

104. Temples 2 to 7 Do. 

District Gwalior 

105. Gwalior fort: 

Chaturbhuj temple Gwalior 

Mansingh's Palace Do. 

Rock out Jain colossi Do. 

Sas Bahu temples Do. 

Teli ka Mandir Do. 

District Khargons 

106. Ballaleshwar Un 

107. Chaubara Dera Do. 

108. Gupteshwar Do. 

109. Jain temples 1 to 3 Do. 

110. Temples of Mahakaleshwar 1 and 2 Do. 

111. Temple of Nilakantheshwar Do. 


Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of monument Locality 

District Mandasor 

112. Brahmanical Rockcut temples Dhamnar 

113. Buddhist Caves Do. 

114. Nau Torana temple Khor 

115. Yasodharman's Pillars of Victory Sondni 

District Murena 

116. Ekottarso Mahadeva temple Mitaoli 

117. Gadhi Padhavli 

118. Kakanmadh temple Suhania 

119. Temple Padhavli 

1 20. Temples 1 to 22 Naresar 

District Sivapuri 

121 Large Shiva temple Mahua 

122. Small Shiva temple Do. 

123. Monastery Ranod 

124. Monastery Surwaya 

125. Open air museum Do. 

126. Shiva temple Do. 

127. Surwaya Gadhi Do. 

Mysore State 
District Bangalore 

1 . Apramoyaswami Temple Malur 

2. Ashurkhana Doddaballapur 

3. Cenotaph Bangalore 

4. Old Dungeon Fort and Gates Do. 

5. Tipu Sultan's Palace Do. 

6. Fort Devanahalli 

7. Tipu Sultan's Birthplace Do. 

8. Syed Ibrahim's Tomb or Bada Makkan Channapatna 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Arch.Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 


Serial Name of monument Locality 

District Cliitaldrug 

9. Akkatangi temple and Asoka inscription on 
Emmetham mananagundu 

10. Asoka inscriptions 

1 1 . Fortress and temples on the hill 

12. Hariharesvara temple 

13. Inscription and Jatingi, Rameswar temple 

1 4. Santhebagilu and Rangayyanabagilu with preserved 

District Hashan 


Adinatha Basti 



Hoysalesvara temple 



Kedaresvara temple 



Parsvanatha Basti 



Santhinatha Basti 



Akkana Basti 



Chandragupta Basti 



Chavundaraya Basti 









Parsvanatha Basti 



Buchesvara temple 



Fort and Dungeons 



Isvara temple 






Kesava temple and inscriptions 



Lakshmidevi temple 



Lakshminarasimha temple 




Jatingi Ramesvara 



Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of monument Locality 


33. Sadashiva temple Do 

34. Nagesvara and Chennakesava temple Mosale 

District Kadur 

35. Amritesvara temple Amritapura 

36. Yupastambha and Isvara temple Hiremagalur 

37. Vidyasankara temple Sringeri 

38. Viranarayana temple Belavadi 

District Kolar 

39. Bhoganandisvara temple Nandi Hills 

40. Tipu's Palace Do. 

41. Yoganandisvara temple Do. 

42. Haidar Ali's Birthplace Budikote 

43. Kolaramma temple Kolar 

44. Mokhbara (Mausoleum of Hyder Ali's father) Do. 

45. Somes vara temple Do. 

46. Ramalingesvara temples and inscriptions Avani 

District Mysore 

47. Arkesvara temple Hale Alur 

48. Gaurisvara temple Yelandur 

49. Kesava temple Somanathapur 

50. Kirthinarayana temple Talkad 

51. Vaidyesvara temple Do. 

52. Lakshmikanta temple Mullur 

53. Mallikarjuna temple Basral 

54. Ramesvara temple Narasamangala 

55. Sidlu Mallikarjuna temple Bottadapur 

56. Srikantesvara temple Nanjangud 

57. Sri Vijayanarayana temple Gundlupet 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and ArchJEological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act. 1 95 1 

Serial Name of monument Locality 


District Mandya 

58. Colonel Bailey's Dungeon Seringapatam 

59. Daria Daulat Bagh Do. 

60. Gumbaz containing tomb of Tipu Sultan Do. 

61. Jumma Masjid Do. 

62. Obelisk Monuments and Fort walls near the breach Do. 

63. Spot where Tipu's body was found Do. 

64. Sri Kanthirava statue in Narasimha temple Do. 

65. Sri Ranganathasvami temple Do. 

66. T. Innman's Dungeon Nagamangala 

67. Kesava temple Marehalli 

68. Lakshminarasimha temple Hosaholalu 

69. Lakshminarayana temple Sindhaghatta 

70. Lakshminarayana temple Melkote 

71. Narayanasvami temple Melkote 

72. Panohakuta Basti Kambadahalli 

73. Panchalingesvara temple Govindanahalli 

74. Temples Tonnur 

District Shimoga 

75. Aghoresvara temple Ikkeri 

76. Anekal temple Bandalike 

77. Somesvara temple Do. 

78. Trimurthinarayana temple Do. 

79. Bastis and inscriptions Huncha 

80. Bherundersvara temple Belgavi 

81. Kedaresvara temple Do. 

82. Tripurantesvara temple Do. 

83. Devagana ponds Basavanabyane 

84. Fort Chennagiri 


Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of monument Locality 

85. Fort Kavaledurga 

86. Fortress and Renuka temple Chandragutti 

87. Inscribed pillar Malavalli 

88. Inscribed pillar Talagunda 

89. Pranavesvara temple Do. 

90. Jain basti with Brahmadeva Pillar Melagi 

91. Kaitabhesvara temple Kubatur 

92. Parsvanatha Basti Do. 

93. Ramesvara temple Do. 

94. Mallikarjuna and Ramesvara temple Kadkalsi 

95. Musafirkhana and Honda Santhebennur 

96. Palace site outside Fort Nagar 

97. Ramesvara temple Keladi 

98. Ramesvara temple Kudli 

99. Shahji's tomb Hodigere 

100. Shivappa Naik's fort Nagar 

101. Temples and incriptions Udri 

102. Ditto Kuppagadde 

District Ttimkur 

103. Channigaraya temple Aralaguppe 

104. Fort Madhugiri 

105. Jumma Masjid Sira 

106. Mallik Rihan Darga Do. 

107. Kedares vara temple Nagalapura 

108. Onennakesava temple Do. 

Patiala and East Punjab States Union 

District Bhatinda 

1. Bhatinda fort Bhatinda 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and ArchAzological Sites and Remains 303 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 

Serial Name of monument Locality 


District Kondaghat 

2. Pinjaur gardens and monuments of Fidai Khan Pinjaur 

Rajasthan State 

District A I war 

1. Gumbad Khan-i-Khana Alwar 

2. Siva temple Do. 

District Banswara 

3. Neel Kantha Mahadeva's temple Banswara 

4. Siva temple and Ruins Arthuna 

5. Sun temple Talwara 

District Bharatpur 

6. Akbar's Chhatri Bayana 

7. Ancient Fort with its monuments Do. 

8. Brahmabad Idgah Do. 

9. Islan Shah's Gate Do. 

10. Jahangir's Gateway Do. 

11. Jhajri Do. 

12. Lodhi's Minar Do. 

13. Saraj Sad-ul-lah Do. 

14. Usha Mandir Do. 

15. Chaurasi Khamba temple Kaman 

16. Colossal image of Yaksha Noh 

17. Deeg Bhawans (palace) Deeg 

18. Looted Gun Do. 

19. Marble Jhoola Do. 

20. Delhi Gate Bharatpur Fort 


2 1 . Fateh Burj near Anah Gate Bharatpur 


Hindu Masjids 


Name of monument 



Jawahar Burj and ashtadhatu gateway 

Bharatpur Fort 


Lai Mahal 

District Bikaner 



Bhandasar Jaina Temple 



Fort Bhatner 



Jain temple of Susani Goddess 

Morkhena village 


Pallu Jaina sculptures 

District Bundi 



Wall paintings of Hardoti school in the palace 
District Dholpur 



Jogni Jogna temple 



Sher Garh Fort 

District Dungarpiir 



Jaina temple inscription 



Somnath temple 

District Jaipur 

Dev Somnath 


Banjaron ki Chhatri containing two pillars similar to Lalsote 
the railing pillars of Bharhut stupa 





Harsat Mata-ka-Mandir 



Baories old 



Kala Pahar temple 



Kalyanraiji's temple 



Laxmi Narainji's temple 



Pipaji's temple (near dispensary) 



Bisal Deoji's temple 



Fresco paintings in the Ambar Palaces (personal 
property of the Maharaja) 


The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Arch/Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1 951 


43. Harshnath temple Harshnath-Sikar 

44. JamaMasjid Ambar 

45. Lax mi Narainji's temple Do. 

46. Sri Jagat Siromaniji temple Do. 

47. Sun temple Do. 

48. Hathi Batha Kakore 

49. Inscription in Fort Nagar 

50. Mand Kila tal inscription Do. 

5 1 . Yupa pillars in Bichpuria temple Do. 

52. Inscription Panwar 

53. Jain temple Sawai Madhopur 


54. Persian inscription in a Baori Do. 

55. Punderikji Haveli-Paintings in a room Brahmpure 

56. Ranthambhore fort Ranthambhore 

57. Temple containing Fresco paintings Gultaji 

58. Yupa pillars recovered from mounds Bamala 

District Jaisalmer 

59. Fort including ancient temples Jaisalmer 

District Jhalawar 

60. Buddhist Caves Hathiagor 

61 . Buddhist Caves, Pillars, Idols JColvi (Dag) 

62. Buddhist caves and pillars Binnayaga (Dag) 

63. Caves of Naranjani, etc Do. 

64. Old temples near the Chandrabhaga Jhalrapatan 

District Jodhpur 

65. Fort Mandore 

District Karauli 

66. Wall paintings in the palaces of Maharaja Gopal Lai Karauli 



District Kotah 

67. Old temples, statues and inscriptions Shergarh 

68. Siva temple and two unpublished Gupta inscriptions .Charchoma 

69. Temple (12th century) Baran 

70. Temple, fort wall and statues Dara or 


71. Temple with inscriptions Kanswa 

72. Yupa pillars Badva 

District Udaipur 

73. Fort of Chitor as a whole Chitor 

74. Fort of Kumbhalgarh as a whole Kurnbhalgarh 

75. Maha Kal and two other temples Bijholi 

76. Rock inscription (12th century) Do. 

77. Sas Bahu temples Nagada 

Saurashtra State 

1 . Ananteshwar temple Anandpur 

2. Ashokan Rock Junagadh 

3. Caves Do. 

4. Darbargadh Halvad Halvad 

5. Dhank Caves Dhank 

6. Gop temple Gop 

7. House where Mahatma Gandhi was born and Kirti Porbandar 

8. Inscription in the Harsata Mata temple Veraval 

9. Jain Temples Talaja 

10. Jama Masjid Veraval 

1 1 . Jami Masjid and Rahimat Masjid, Raveli Musjid Mangrol 

12. Navlakha temple and Step well Ghumli 

13. Navlakha temple Sejakpur 

— — _____ 1 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and ArchAzological Sites and Remains 307 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 


Name of monument 


1 A 

Neminath temple with 3 inscriptions V.S. 1333, 35, Mt. Girnar 


Nilakantha temple 



Pindara, Durvasa Rishi's Ashram and its site 



Ra Khengar Mahal (temple) 

Mt. Girnar 


Ranak Devi's temple 



Sun temple 



Surya temple 



Talaja Caves 



Temples — 
Adishwar temple 
Balabhai's temple 
Chaumukha temple 
Dalpet Bhai and Bhagu Bhai's shrine 
ivesnwaji Nayak temple 
Moti Shah's Tuk temple 
Nandeshwara Dipa temple 
Panch Pandava temple 

Shatrunjay Hil 


Vastupal Temple 



Varaha Mandir 

Travancore-Cochin State 
District Trichur 



Mural Paintings (16- 17th Century) on the walls of 
the Ten-Kailasanatha temple 



Mural Paintings (16- 17th Century) on the walls of 
the Mattancheri Palace 

Mattancheri town 


Mural Paintings (19- 17th Century) on the walls of 
the Siva Temple 



Mural Paintings (17th-18h Century) on the walls of Eyyal 
the Srikoil of the Siva Temple at Chemmanthatta 


Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of monument 



5. Mural Paintings on the walls of the Srikoil of the 
Pallimanna temple 

6. Mural Paintings on the walls of the Sriramaswami 
temple at Triprayar 

7. Mural Paintings of the 1 7th- 1 8th century on the 
walls of the Srikoils of the Siva Temple at Peru- 
vanam; and wooden bracket images of a still earlier 
period on the Srikoils of the same shrine 

8. Twenty-nine wooden bracket images on the outer Katavallur 
walls of the Srikoil of the Vishnu temple at Kataval- 
lur and other works of art in the same shrine 

Part II 

Archaeological sites and remains 

I. All archaeological sites anf remains in Part A States and Part B States which, 
before the commencement of this Act, have either been declared by the Cen- 
tral Government to be protected areas or which have been taken possession 
of by the Central Government as protected areas. 

The following archaeological sites and remains in Part B states not covered by 

Item No. I immediately preceding :- 

Serial Name of archaeological site or remains 


Hyderabad State 


District A urangabad 

1 . Ancient mound 

2. Prehistoric site 

3. Ditto 

Ancient mound 

District Gulbarga 

District Medak 




The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Arch/Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act. J 95 1 


Name of archaeological site or remains 












District Raichur 

Ancient mound 
Ancient mound 
Prehistoric site 

District Warangal 

Prehistoric site 

Madhya Bharat State 
District Bhilsa 

Ancient site 
Buddhist stupa 
Ruins of Gupta temple 

District Dhar 

Ruins in Bhoipura 

Ruins on the west of Rewa Kund 

District Newar 

Excavated site 

District Gird 

Ancient site 

District Ujjain 

Ancient mounds, viz., Bhairon, Gadh, Vaishya 
Tekri, Kumbhar Tekr 

Mysore State 

District Bangalore 

Prehistoric site 


















Hindu Masjids 

Serial Name of archaeological site or remains 



















District Chitaldrug 

Prehistoric site 

Prehistoric site 
Prehistoric site 

District Kolar 

District Mysore 

Rajasthan State 

District Alwar 

Ancient remains 
Ancient site 

Ancient remains 

Ancient Mound 

District Banswara 

District Bharatpur 

District Bikaner 

Ancient mounds 

Ancient mounds (3) 
Ancient Mound 





Vithal Deva 



Bhannar Theri 
in the neighbourhood of Dhokal 

Suratgarh town 

Peer Sultan 
Rang Mahal 

The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Arch/Eological Sites and Remains 
(Declaration of National Importance) Act. J 951 

Serial Name of archaeological site or remains 


16. Ancient Mound 

17. Ancient mounds (2) 

18. Ancient Mound 

19. Ancient Mounds (2) 

20. Ancient Mound 






District Bundi 

21. Ancient Mounds 

District Jaipur 

Ancient Mound 







Devapura Barodia mounds 

Excavated site 


Excavated sites 

Ancient site 

Ancient ruins 

District Jaisalmer 

District Jhalawar 


Baror (Anupgarh 

Binjor (Anupgarh 

Chak 86 (Do.) 

Mathula (Do.) 

Dera (Do.) 

Nainwa, Lakheri 
and Keshwarai 



Gariagarh (Newai) 







Rairh (Newai) 
Bairat and Sambhar 

Lodruva Patan 

Dalsagar Ganga 

Dudhaliya (Dag) 


Hindu Masjids 


Name of archaeological site or remains 


District Kotah 


Ancient ruins and structural remains 



Ruins of temples 

Artu or Ganesh 


District Udaipur 


Ancient ruins 








Annexure III 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and 

Remains Act, 1958 

(Act No.24 of 195S) 

[28th August, 1958] 

An Act to provide for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and 
archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of 
archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other 
like objects. 

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Ninth Year of the Republic of India as fol- 
lows: - 


1 . (1) This Act may be called the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites 
and Remains Act, 1958. 

1 [(2) It extends to the whole of India.] 

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by 
notification in the Official Gazette, appoint. 

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires — 

(a) "ancient monument" means any structure, erection or monument, or any 
tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock sculpture, inscription or 
monolith, which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and 
which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years, and 
includes — 

(i) the remains of an ancient monument, 

(ii) the site of an ancient monument, 

1. Subs, by Act 52 of 1972,s.33 


Hindu Masjids 

(Hi) such portion of land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as 
may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving 
such monument, and 

(iv) the means of access to, and convenient inspection of, an ancient 

(b) "antiquity" includes — 

(i) any coin, sculpture, manuscript, epigraph, or other work of art or 

(ii) any article, object or thing detached from a building or cave. 

(Hi) any article, object or thing illustrative of science, art, crafts, litera- 
ture, religion, customs, mprals or politics in bygone ages, 

(iv) any article, object or thing of historical interest, and 

(v) any article, object or thing declared by the Central Government, by 
notification in the Official Gazette to be an antiquity for the pur- 
poses of this act, which has been in existence for not less than one 
hundred years; 

(c) "archaeological officer" means an officer of the Department of Archae- 
ology of the Government of India not lower in rank than Assistant 
Superintendent of Archaeology; 

(d) "archaeological site and remains" means any area which contains or is 
reasonably believed to contain ruins or relics of historical or archaeolog- 
ical importance which have been in existence for not less than one hun- 
dred years, and includes — 

(i) such portion of land adjoining the area as may be required for fenc- 
ing or covering in or otherwise preserving it, and 

(ii) the means of access to, and convenient inspection of, the area: 

(e) "Director-General" means the Director-General of Archaeology, and 
includes any officer authorised by the Central Government to perform 
the duties of the Director-General; 

(J) "maintain", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, 
includes the fencing, covering in, repairing, restoring and cleansing of a 
protected monument, and the doing of any act which may be necessary 
for the purpose of preserving a protected monument or of securing con- 
venient access there-to; 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1 958 315 

(g) "owner" includes — 

(i) a joint owner invested with powers of management on behalf of 
himself and other joint owners and the successor-in-title of any 
such owner; and 

(ii) any manager or trustee exercising powers of management and the 
successor-in-office of any such manager or trustee; 

(h) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act; 

(i) "protected area" means any archaeological site and remains which is 
declared to be of national importance by or under this Act; 

0) "protected monument" means an ancient monument which is declared 
to be of national importance by or under this Act. 

'[2A. Any reference in this Act to any law which is not in force in the State of 
Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to 
the corresponding law, if any, in force in that State.] 


3. All ancient and historical monuments and all archaeological sites and 
remains which have been declared by the Ancient and Historical Monuments 
and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) ? 
Act, 1951, or by section 126 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 to be of 
national importance shall be deemed to be ancient and historical monuments 3 
or archaeological sites and remains declared to be of national importance for 
the purposes of this Act. 

4. (I) Where the Central Government is of opinion that any ancient monument 
or archaeological site and remains not included in section 3 is of national 
importance, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, give two months 
notice of its intention to declare such ancient monuments or archaelogical 
site and remains to be of national importance; and a copy of every such noti- 
fication shall be affixed in a conspicuous place near the monument or site 
and remains, as the case may be. 

(2) Any person interested in any such ancient monument or archaeological 
site and remains may, within two months after the issue of the notification, 
object to the declaration of the monument, or the archaeological site and 
remains, to be of national importance. 

1. Ins. by Act 52 of 1972, s. 33 


Hindu Masjids 

(3) On the expiry of the said period of two months, the Central Government 
may, after considering the objections, if any, received by it, declare by noti- 
fication in the Official Gazette, the ancient monument or the archaeological 
site and remains, as the case may be, to be of national importance. 

(4) A notification published under sub-section (3) shall, unless and until it is 
withdrawn, be conclusive evidence of the fact that the ancient monument or 
the archaeological site and remains to which it relates is of national impor- 
tance for the purposes of this Act. 


5. (I) The Director-General may, with the sanction of the Central Government, 
purchase, or take a lease of, or accept a gift or bequest of, any protected 

(2) Where a protected monument is without an owner, the Director-General 
may, by notification in the Official Gazette, assume the guardianship of the 

(3) The owner of any protected monument may, by written instrument, con- 
stitute the Director-General the guardian of the monument, and the Director- 
General may, with sanction of the Central Government, accept such guardi- 

(4) When the Director-General has accepted the guardianship of a monument 
under sub-section (3), the owner shall, except as expressly provided in this 
Act, have the same estate right, title, and interest in and to the monument as 
if the Director General had not been constituted a guardian thereof. 

(5) When the Director-General has accepted the guardianship of a monument 
unde sub-section (3), the provisions of this Act relating to agreements exe- 
cuted under section 6 shall apply to the written instrument executed under the 
said sub-section. 

(6) Nothing in this section shall affect the use of any protected monument for 
customary religious observances. 

6. (I) The Collector, when so directed by the Central Government, shall pro- 
pose to the owner of a protected monument to enter into an agreement with 
the Central Government within a specified period for the maintenance of the 

(2) An agreement, under this section may provide for all or any of the follow- 
ing matters, namely; 

(a) the maintenance of the monument; 

(b) the custody of the monument and the duties of any person who may 
be employed to watch it; 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1 958 


(c) the restriction of the owners right; 

(i) to use the monument of any purpose 

(ii) to charge any fee for entry into, or inspection of the monument, 
(Hi) to destroy, remove, alter or deface the monument, or 

(iv) to build on or near the site of the monument; 

(d) the facilities of access to be permitted to the public or any section 
thereof or to archaeological officers or to persons deputed by the 
owner or any archaeological officer or the Collector to inspect or 
maintain the monument; 

(e) the notice to be given to the Central Government in case the land on 
which the monument is situated or any adjoining land is offered for 
sale by the owner, and the right to be reserved to the Central Govern- 
ment to purchase such land, or any specified portion of such land, at 
its market value; 

(f) the payment of any expenses incurred by the owner or by the Central 
Government in connection with the maintenance of the monument; 

(g) the proprietary or other rights which are to vest in the Central Gov- 
ernment in respect of the monument when any expenses are incurred 
by the Central Government in connection with the maintenance of 
the monument; 

(h) the appointment of any authority to decide any dispute arising out of 
the agreement; and 

(i) any matter connected with the maintenance of the monument which 
is a proper subject of agreement between the owner and the Central 

(3) The Central Government or the owner may, at any time after the expira- 
tion of three years from the date of execution of an agreement under this sec- 
tion, terminate it on giving six months* notice in writing to the other party: 

Provided that where the agreement is terminated by the owner, he shall pay 
to the Central Government the expenses, if any, incurred by it on the mainte- 
nance of the monument during the five years immediately preceding the ter- 
mination of the agreement or, if the agreement has been in force for a shorter 
period, during the period the agreement was in force. 

(4) An agreement under this section shall be binding an any person claiming 
to be the owner of the monument to which it relates, from, through or under 
a party by whom or on whose behalf the agreement was executed. 


Hindu Masjids 

1. (I) If the owner of a protected monument is unable, by reason of infancy or 
other disability, to act for himself, the person legally competent to act on his 
behalf may exercise the powers conferred upon an owner by section 6. 

(2) In the case of village property, the headman or other village officer exer- 
cising powers of management over such property may exercise the powers 
conferred upon an owner by section 6. 

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to empower any person not being 
of the same religion as the person on whose behalf he is acting to make or exe- 
cute an agreement relating to a protected monument which or any part of 
which is periodically used for the religious worship or observances of that 

8. (1) If any owner or other person competent to enter into any agreement 
under section 6 for the maintenance of a protected monument refuses or fails 
to enter into such an agreement, and if any endowment has been created for 
the purpose of keeping such monument in repair or for that purpose among 
others, the Central Government may institute a suit in the court of the district 
judge, or, if the estimated cost of repairing the monument does not exceed 
one thousand rupees, may make an application to the district judge, for the 
proper application of such endowment or part thereof. 

(2) On the hearing of an application under sub-section (1), the district judge 
may summon and examine the owner and any person whose evidence appears 
to him necessary and may pass an order for the proper application of the 
endowment or any part thereof, and any such order may be executed as if it 
were a decree of a civil court. 

9. ( 1) If any owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under 
section 6 for the maintenance of a protected monument refuses of fails to 
enter into such an agreement, the Central Government may make an order 
providing for all or any of the matters specified in sub-section (2) of 
section 6 and such order shall be binding on the owner or such other person 
and on every person claiming title to the monument from, through or under, 
the owner or such other person. 

(2) Where an order made unde subsection (1) provides that the monument 
shall be maintained by the owner or other person competent to enter into an 
agreement, all reasonable expenses for the maintenance of the monument 
shall be payable by the Central Government. 

(3) No order under sub-section (1) shall be made unless the owner or other 
person has been given an opportunity of making a representation in writing 
against the proposed order. 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1 958 


10. (I) If the Director-General apprehends that the owner or occupier of a pro- 
tected monument intends to destroy, remove, alter, deface, imperil or misuse 
the monument or to build on or near the site thereof in contravention of the 
terms of an agreement under section 6, the Director-General after giving the 
owner or occupier an opportunity of making a representation in writing 
make an order prohibiting any such contravention of the agreement. 

Provided that no such opportunity may be given in any case where the Direc- 
tor-General, for reasons to be recorded, is satisfied that it is not expedient or 
practicable to do so. 

(2) Any person aggrieved by an order under this section may appeal to the 
Central Government within such time and in such manner as may be pre- 
scribed and the decision of the Central Government shall be final. 

11. (I) If an owner or other person who is bound by an agreement for the main- 
tenance of a monument under section 6 refuses or fails within such reasona- 
ble time as the Director-General may fix, to do any act which in the opinion 
of the Director-General is necessary for the maintenance of the monument, 
the Director-General may authorise any person to do any such act, and the 
owner or other person shall be liable to pay the expenses of doing any such 
act or such portion of the expenses as the owner may be liable to pay under 
the agreement. 

(2) If any dispute arises regarding the amount of expenses payable by the 
owner or other person under sub-section (1), it shall be referred to the Central 
Government whose decision shall be final. 

12. Every person who purchases, at a sale for arrears of land revenue or any 
other public demand, any land on which is situated a monument in respect of 
which any instrument has been executed by the owner for the time being 
under section 5 or section 6, and every person claiming any title to a monu- 
ment from, through or under, an owner who executed any such instrument, 
shall be bound by such instrument. 

13. If the Central Government apprehends that a protected monument is in dan- 
ger of being destroyed, injured, misused, or allowed to fall into decay, it may 
acquire the protected monument under the provisions of the Land Acquisi- 
tion Act 1 894, as if the maintenance of the protected monument were a pub- 
lic purpose within the meaning of that Act. 

14. (1) The Central Government shall maintain every monument which has been 
acquired under section 13 or in respect of which any of the rights mentioned 
in section 5 have been acquired. 

(2) When the Director-General has assumed the guardianship of a monument 
under section 5, he shall, for the purpose of maintaining such monument, have 


Hindu Masjids 

access to the monument at all reasonable times, by himself and by his agents, 
subordinates and workmen, for the purpose of inspecting the monument and 
for the purpose of bringing such materials and doing such acts as he may con- 
sider necessary or desirable for maintenance thereof. 

15. The Director-General may receive voluntary contributions towards the cost 
of maintaining a protected monument and may give orders as to the manage- 
ment and application of any funds so received by him: 

Provided that no contribution received under this section shall be applied to 
any purpose other than the purpose for which it was contributed. 

16. (I) A protected monument maintained by the Central Goovernment under 
this Act which is a place of worship or shrine shall not be used for any pur- 
pose inconsistent with its character. 

(2) Where the Central Government has acquired a protected monument under 
section 13, or where the Director-General has purchased, or taken a lease or 
accepted a gift or bequer.t or assumed guardianship of a protected monument 
under section 5, and such monument or any part thereof is used for religious 
worship or observances by any community, the Collector shall make due pro- 
vision for the protection of such monument or part thereof, from pollution or 
fa) by prohibiting the entry therein, except in accordance with the condi- 
tions prescribed with the concurrence of the persons, if any, in religious 
charge of the said monument or part thereof, of any person not entitled 
so to enter by the religious usages of the community by which the mon- 
ument or part thereof is used, or 

(b) by taking such other action as he may think necessary in this behalf. 

17. With the sanction of the Central Government, the Director-General may- 
fa) where rights have been acquired by the Director-General in respect of 

any monument under this Act by virtue of any sale, lease, gift or will, 
relinquish, by notification in the Official Gazette, the rights so acquired 
to the person who would for the time being be the owner of the monu- 
ment if such rights had not been acquired; or 

(b) relinqush any guardianship of any monument which he has assumed 
under this Act. 

18. Subject to any rules made under this Act, the public shall have a right of 
access to any protected monument. 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1 958 



19. (I) No person, including the owner or occupier of a protected area,shall con- 
struct any building within the protected area or carry on any mining, quarry- 
ing, excavating, blasting or any operation of a like nature in such area, or 
utilise such area or any part thereof in any other manner without the permis- 
sion of the Central Government: 

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to prohibit the use 
of any such area or part thereof for purposes of cultivation if such cultivation 
does not involve the digging of not more than one foot of soil from the sur- 

(2) The Central Government may, by order, direct that any building con- 
structed by any person within a protected area in contravention of the provi- 
sions of sub-section (1) shall be removed within a specified period and, if the 
person refuses or fails to comply with the order, the Collector may cause the 
building to be removed and the person shall be liable to pay the cost of such 

20. If the Central Government is of opinion that any protected area contains an 
ancient monument or antiquities of national interest and value, it may 
acquire such area under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1 894 
as if the acquisition were for a public purpose with in the meaning of that 


21. An archaeological officer or an officer authorised by him in this behalf or 
any person holding a licence granted in this behalf under this Act (hereinaf- 
ter referred at as the licensee) may, after giving notice in writing to the Col- 
lector and the owner, enter upon and make excavations in any protected area. 

22. Where an archaeological officer has reason to believe that any area not being 
a protected area contains ruins or relics of historical or archaeological impor- 
tance, he or an officer authorised by him on this behalf may, after giving 
notice in writing to the Collector and the owner, enter upon and make exca- 
vations in the area. 

23. (1) Where, as a result of any excavations made in any area under section 21 
or section 22, any antiquities are discovered, the archeological officer or the 
licensee, as the case may be, shall: 

(a) as soon as practicable, examine such antiquities and submit a report to 
the Central Government in such manner and containing such particulars 
as may be prescribed; 

(b) at the conclusion of the excavation operations, give notice in writing to 


the owner of the land from which such antiquities have been discovered, 
of the nature of such antiquities. 

(2) Until an order for the 1 [compulsory acquisition] of any such antiquities is 
made under sub-section (3), the archaeloogical officer or the licensee, as the 
case may be, shall keep them in such safe custody as he may deem fit. 

(3) On a receipt of a report under sub-section (1), the Central Government 
may make an order for the '[compulsory acquisition of any such antiquities.] 

(4) When an order for the [compulsory acquisition] of any antiquities is made 
under sub-section (3), such antiquities shall rest in the Central Government 
with effect from the date of the order. 

24. No State Government shall undertake or authorise any person to undertake 
any excavation or other like operation for archaeological purposes in any 
area which is not a protected area except with the previous approval of the 
Central Government and in accordance with such rules or directions, if any, 
as the Central Government may make or give in this behalf. 


25. (I) If the Central Government considers that any antiquities or class of antiq- 
uities ought not to be moved from the place where they are without the sanc- 
tion of the Central Government, the Central Government may, by 
notification in the Official Gazette, direct that any such antiquity or any class 
of such antiquities shall not be moved except with the written permission of 
the Director-General. 

(2) Every application for permission under sub-section (1) shall be in such 
form and contain such particulars as may be prescribed. 

(3) Any person aggrieved by an order refusing permission may appeal to the 
Central Government whose decision shall be final. 

26. (I) If the Central Government apprehends that any antiquity mentioned in a 
notification issued under sub-section (1) of section 25 is in danger of being 
destroyed, removed, injured, misused or allowed to fall into decay or is of 
opinion that, by reason of its historical or archaeological importance, it is 
desirable to preserve such antiquity in a public place, the Central Govern- 
ment may make an order for the '[compulsory acquisition of such antiquity] 
and the Collector shall thereupon give notice to the owner of the antiquity 
2 [to be acquired.] 

1. Subs, by Act 52 of 1972, s. 33 

2. Subs, by Act 52 of 1972, s. 33 (iv) (a). 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1 958 


(2) Where a notice of '[compulsory acquisition] is issued under sub- 
section (1) in respect of any antiquity, such antiquity shall vest in the Central 
Government with effect from the date of the notice. 

(3) The power of '[compulsory acquisition] given by this section shall not 
extend to any image or symbol actually used for bona fide religious observ- 


27. Any owner or occupier of land who has sustained any loss or damage or any 
diminution of profits from the land by reason of any entry on, or excavations 
in, such land or the exercise of any other power conferred by this Act shall 
be paid compensation by the Central Government for such loss, damage or 
diminution of profits. 

28. (J) The market value of any property which the Central Government is 
empowered to purchase at such value under this Act or the compensation to 
be paid by the Central Government in respect of anything done under this 
Act shall, where any dispute arises in respect of such market value or com- 
pensation be ascertained in the manner provided in sections 3, 5, 8 to 31, 15 
to 47, 51 and 52 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 so far as they can be 
made applicable. 

Provided that when making an enquiry under the said Land Acquisition Act, 
the Collector shall be assisted by two assessors, one of whom shall be a com- 
petent person nominated by the Central Government and one a person nomi- 
nated by the owner, or, in case the owner fails to nominate an assessor within 
such reasonable time as may be fixed by the Collector in this behalf by the 

1 [(2) For every antiquity in respect of which an order for compulsory acqui- 
sition has been made under sub-section (3) of section 23 or under sub-section 
(1) of section 26, there shall be paid compensation and the provisions of sec- 
tions 20 and 22 of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, shall, so far 
as may be, apply in relation to the determination and payment of such com- 
pensation as they apply in relation to the determination and payment of com- 
pensation for any antiquity or art treasure compulsorily acquired under 
section 19 of the Act.] 


29. The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct 
that any powers conferred on it by or under this Act shall, subject to such 
conditions as may be specified in the direction, be exercisable also by: 

1 . Subs by Act 52 of 1 972 s. 33 (iv) (a) 


Hindu Masjids 

(a) such officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government, or 

(b) such State Government or such officer or authority subordinate to the 
State Government, 

as may be specified in the direction. 

30. f7J Whoever— 

(1) destroys, removes, inquires, alters, defaces, imperils or misuses a pro- 
tected monument, or 

(ii) being the owner or occupier of a protected monument, contravenes an 
order made under sub-section ( 1 ) of section 9 or under sub-section ( 1 ) of 
section 10, or 

(Hi) removes from a protected monument any sculpture, carving, image, bas- 
relief, inscription or other like object, or 

(iv) does any act in contravention of sub-section (1) of section 19, shall be 
punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months, or 
with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both. 

(2) Any person who moves an antiquity in contravention of a notification 
issued under sub-section (1) of section 25 shall be punishable with fine which 
may extend to five thousand rupees; and the court convicting a person of such 
contravention may by order direct such person to restore the antiquity to the 
place from which it was moved. 

31. No court inferior to that of a presidency magistrate or a magistrate of the first 
class shall try any offence under this Act. 

32. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 
1898, an offence under clause (i) or clause (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 
30, shall be deemed to be a cognisable offence within the meaning of that 

33. Notwithstanding anything contained in section 32 of the Code of Criminal 
Procedure, 1898, it shall be lawful for any magistrate of the first class spe- 
cially empowered by the State Government in this behalf and for any presi- 
dency magistrate to pass a sentence of fine exceeding two thousand rupees 
on any person convicted of an offence which under this Act is punishable 
with fine exceeding two thousand rupees. 

34. Any amount due to the Government from any person under this Act may on 
a certificate issued by the Director-General or an archaeological officer 
authorised by him in this behalf be recovered in the same manner as an 
arrear of land revenue. 

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, J 958 


35. If the Central Government is of opinion that any ancient and historical mon- 
ument or archaeological site and remains declared to be of national impor- 
tance by or under this Act has ceased to be of national importance, it may, by 
notification in the Official Gazette, declare that the ancient and historical 
monument or archaeological site and remains, as the case may be, has ceased 
to be of national importance for the purposes of this Act. 

36. Any clerical mistake, patent error or error arising from accidental slip or 
omission in the description of any ancient monument or archaeological site 
and remains declared to be of national importance by or under this Act, may, 
at any time, be corrected by the Central Government by notification in the 
Official Gazette. 

37. No suit for compensation and no criminal proceeding shall lie against any 
public servant in respect of any act done or in good faith intended to be done 
in the exercise of any power conferred by this Act. 

38. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette and 
subject to the condition of previous publication, make rules for carrying out 
the purposes of this Act. 

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing 
power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters namely: 

(a) the prohibition or regulation by licensing or otherwise of mining, 
quarrying, excavating, blasting or any operation of a like nature near 
a protected monument or the construction of buildings on land 
adjoining such monument and the removal of unauthorised build- 

(b) the grant of licences and permissions to make excavations for archae- 
ological purposes in protected areas, the authorities by whom, and 
the restrictions and conditions subject to which, such licenses may be 
granted, the taking of securities from licensees and the fees that may 
be charged for such licences; 

(c) the right to access of the public to a protected monument and the fee, 
if any, to be charged thereof; 

(d) the form and contents of the report of an archaeological officer or a 
licensee under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 23; 

(e) the form in which applications for permission under section 19 or sec- 
tion 25 may be made and the particulars which they should contain; 

(f) the form and manner of preferring appeals under this Act and the 
time within which they may be preferred; 

(g) the manner of service of any order or notice under this Act; 


Hindu Masjids 

(h) the manner in which excavations and other like operations for 
archaeological purposes may be carried on; 

(i) any other matter which is to be or may be prescribed. 

(3) Any rule made under ths section may provide that a breach thereof shall 
be punishable; 

(i) in the case of a rule made with reference to clause (a) of sub- 
section (2) with imprisonement which may extend to three months, 
or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both; 

(ii) in the case of a rule made with reference to clause (b) of sub- 
section (2), with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees; 

(Hi) in the cse of a rule made with reference to clause (c) of sub-section 
(2), with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees. 

(4) All rules made under this section shall be laid for not less than thirty days 
before each House of Parliament as soon as possible after they are made, and 
shall be subject to such modifications as Parliament may make during the ses- 
sion in which they are so laid or the session immediately following. 

39. (I) The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and 
Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 and section 126 of 
the States Reorganisation Act, 1 956, are hereby repealed. 

(2) The Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, shall cease to have 
effect in relation to ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites 
and remains declared by or under this Act to be of national importance, except 
as respects things done or omitted to be done before the commencement of 
this Act. 

Annexure IV 

The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) 

Act, 1991 

(Act No. 42 of 1991) 

An Act to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide 
for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship 
as it existed on the 15th day of August, 1947, and for matters connected 
therewith or incidental thereto. 

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-second Year of the Republic of India as 


In view of the controversies arising from time to time with regard to conversions 
of places of worship, it is felt that such conversions should be prohibited. 

2. In order to foreclose any controversy in respect of any place of worship 
that existed on 15th day of August, 1947 it is considered necessary to provide for 
the maintenance of the religious character of such place of worship as it existed 
on the 15th day of August, 1947. As a consequence thereof, all the suits or other 
proceedings pending as on 11th day of July, 1991 with respect to any of such 
places of worship, may abate and also further suits of other proceedings may be 

3. However, since the case relating to the place commonly called Ram Janma 
Bhumi-Babri Masjid forms a class by itself, it has become necessary to exempt it 
entirely from the operation of this Act. 

4. Moreover, in order to maintain communal harmony and peace, matters 
decided by courts, tribunals or other authorities, or those settled by parties 
amongst themselves or through acquiescence, between 15th day of August, 1947 
and the 1 1th day of July, 1991 are also exempted from the operation of this Act. 


Hindu Masjids 

5. The 1 1th day of July, 1991 is proposed as the commencement date of the 
Act as on that day the President addressed the Parliament making such a declara- 


For determining the purpose or object of the legislation, it is permissible to look 
into the circumstances which prevailed at the time when the law was passed and 
which necessitated the passing of that law. For the limited purpose of appreciating 
the background and the antecedent factual matrix leading to the legislation, it is 
permissible to look into the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill which 
actuated the step to provide a remedy for the then existing malady. 1 

Preamble-Meaning of — Preamble means merely the prefatory note or the 
introductory paragraph containing casual or passing reference to insignificant 
facts not intended to be relied upon. 2 

1, Short title, extent and commencement— (1) This Act may be called the 
Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. 

(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 

(3) The provisions of Sees. 3,6 and 8 shall come into force at once and the 
remaining provisions of this Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the 
11th day of July, 1991. 


Construction of Statute. — A statute is to be construed according to the intent 
of them that make it and the duty of judicature is to act upon the true intention of 
the Legislature the means sententia legis? 

It is the duty of Courts to accept a construction which promotes the object of 
the legislation and also prevents its possible abuse even through the mere possi- 
bility of abuse of a provision does not affect its constitutionality or construction. 
Abuse has to be checked by constant vigilance and monitoring of individual cases 
by a suitable machinery at a high level. 4 

2. Definitions. — In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, — 

1. Shashikant Laxman Kale v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1990 S.C. 2114 at p. 2119; see 
also Union of India v. Deoki Nandal Aggarwal, A.I.R. 1992 S.C. 96 at p. 101. 

2. Sanju Dora v. State of Orissa, 1 995 Cr.L.J. 3 1 50 at p. 3 1 5 1 (Orissa). 

3. Chain Singh v. State of Rajasthan, A.I.R. 1991 Raj. 17 at p. 28; see also Mohan 
Kumar Singhania v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1992 S.C. 1 at p. 21; Byram Pestonji 
Gariwala v. Union Bank of India. (1992) 1 S.C.C. 31 at p. 44; Umakant v. 
Dr. Bhikalal Jain, (1992) 1 S.C.C. 105 at pp. 113, 114. 

4. Sanjay Dutt v. State, 1 995 Cr.L.J. 477 at p. 490 (SC.). 

The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 


(a) "commencement of this Act" means the commencement of this Act 
on the 11th day of July, 1991; 

(b) "conversion" with its grammatical variations, includes alteration or 
change of whatever nature; 

(c) "place of worship" means a temple, mosque, gurudwara, church, 
monastery of any other place of public religious worship of any religious 
denomination or any section thereof, by whatever name called. 

3. Bar of conversion of places of worship. — No person shall convert any 
place of worship of any religious denomination or any section thereof into a place 
of worship of a different section of the same religious denomination or of a differ- 
ent religious denomination or any section thereof. 

4. Declaration as to the religious character of certain places of worship and 
bar of jurisdiction of courts, etc. — (1) It is hereby declared that the religious 
character of a place of worship existing on the 1 5th day of August, 1 947 shall con- 
tinue to be the same as it existed on that day. 

(2) If, on the commencement of this Act, any suit, appeal or other proceeding 
with respect to the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, 
existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 is pending before any court, tribunal or 
other authority, the same shall abate, and no suit, appeal or other proceeding with 
respect to any such matter shall lie on or after such commencement in any court, 
tribunal or other authority: 

Provided that if any suit, appeal or other proceeding instituted or filed on the 
ground that conversion has taken place in the religious character of any such place 
after the 15th day of August, 1947, is pending on the commencement of this Act, 
such suit, appeal or other proceeding shall be disposed of in accordance with the 
provisions of sub-section (1). 

(3) Nothing contained in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall apply to.- 

(a) any place of worship referred to in the said sub-sections which is an 
ancient and historical monument or an archaeological site or remains covered 
by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 
(24 of 1958), or any other law for the time being in force; 

(b) any suit, appeal or other proceeding, with respect to any matter 
referred to in sub-section (2), finally decided, settled or disposed of by a court, 
tribunal or other authority before the commencement of this Act. 

(c) any dispute with respect to any such matter settled by the parties 
amongst themselves before such commencement; 

(d) any conversion of any such place effected before such commence- 
ment by acquiescence; 

(e) any conversion of any such place effected before such commence- 


Hindu Masjids 

ment which is not liable to be challenged in any court, tribunal or other 
authority being barred by limitation under any law for the time being in force. 


Proviso. — It is cardinal rule of interpretation that a proviso to a particular pro- 
vision of a statute only embraces the field which is covered by the main provision. 
It carves out an exception to the main provision to which it has been enacted by 
the proviso and to no other. The proper function of a proviso is to except and deal 
with a case which would otherwise fall within the general language of the main 
enactment, and its effect is to confine to that case, where the language of the main 
enactment is explicit and unambiguous, the proviso can have no repercussion on 
the interpretation of the main enactment, so as to exclude from it, by implication 
what clearly falls within its express terms. 1 

5. Act not to apply to Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid. — Nothing con- 
tained in this Act shall apply to the place or place of worship commonly known as 
Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh 
and to any suit, appeal or other proceeding relating to the said place or place of 

6. Punishment for contravention of Sec. 3. — (1) Whoever contravenes the 
provisions of Sec. 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may 
extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. 

(2) Whoever attempts to commit any offence punishable under subsection (1) 
or to cause such offence to be committed and in such attempt does any act towards 
the commission of the offences shall be punishable with punishment provided for 
the offence. 

(3) Whoever abets, or is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit, an offence 
punishable under sub-section ( 1 ) shall, whether such offence be or be not commit- 
ted in consequence of such abetment or in pursuance of such criminal conspiracy, 
and notwithstanding anything contained in Sec. 1 16 of the Indian Penal Code (45 
of 1 860) be punishable with the punishment provided for the offence. 


Abetment. — Section 1 16 of the Indian Penal Code, deals with abetment of 
offences punishable with imprisonment. The said section is reproduced here as 

1. A.N. Sehgal v. Raja Ram Sheoram, A.I.R. 1991 S.C. 1406 at p. 1414; see also 
Tribhovandas Haribhai Tamboli v. Gujarat Revenue Tribunal, A.I.R. 1991 S.C. 
1538: (1991)3 S.C.C. 442 at p. 447; Toguru Sudhalcar Reddy v. Government of 
A.P., A.I.R. 1992 A.P. 19; Krishna Chandra Mandal v. Smt. Mandavi Devi, A.I.R. 
1996 Pat. 159 at p. 162. 

The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 


"116. Abetment of offence punishable with imprisonment — If offence be not 
committed '.—Whoever abets an offence punishable with imprisonment shall, if 
that offence be not committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express 
provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be pun- 
ished with imprisonment of any description provided for that offence for a term 
which may extent to one-fourth part of the longest term provided for that 
offence; or with such fine as is provided for that offence, or with both. 

If abettor or person abetted be a public servant whose duty it is to prevent 
offence. — If the abettor or the person abetted is a public servant, whose duty it 
is to prevent the commission of such offence, the abettor shall be punished with 
imprisonment of any description provided for that offence, for a term which 
may extend to one-half of the longest term provided for that offence, or with 
such fine as is provided for the offence, or with both." 

Abetment. — The offence of abetment is complete when the alleged abettor 
has instigated another or engaged with another in a conspiracy to commit the 
offence. It is not necessary for the offence of abetment that the act abetted must 
be committed. 1 

In order to constitute abetment, the abettor must be shown to have "intention- 
ally"" aided to commission of the crime. Mere proof that the crime charged could 
not have been committed without the interposition of the alleged abettor is not 
enough compliance with the requirements of Sec. 107. It is not enough that an act 
on the part of the alleged abettor happens to faciliate the commission of the crime. 2 

Thus, the petitioner has been able to make out a case that from the evidence 
which has been brought on record, there is nothing to suggest that the petitioner 
was aiding or he committed any overt act which resulted in abetment. There is 
nothing on record that there was any instigation, on any positive step was taken by 
the petitioner. 3 

When no inference of abetment can be drawn. — No inference of abetment 
can be drawn against the husband and in laws, specially when there was no relia- 
ble evidence of torture or cruelty for bringing insufficient dowry. 4 

Penal provision — Interpretation of. — The settled rule of construction of 
penal provisions is, that "if there is a reasonable interpretation which will avoid 
the penalty in any particular case, the Court must adopt that construction and if 
there are two reasonable constructions, the Court must give the more lenient one'; 
and if 'two possible and reasonable constructions can be put upon a penal provi- 
sion, the Court must lean towards that construction which exempts the subject 
from penalty rather than the one which imposes penalty. 5 

1 . Jamuna Singh v. State of Bihar, A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 553 at p. 554. 

2. Raja Asari v. State, 1995 (4) Crimes 461 at p. 468 (Mad.). 

3 . Jagdish Prasad Agrawal v. State of M.P., 1 996 (4) Crimes 1 3 at p. 1 6. (M.P.). 

4. Bansiya v. State of Rajasthan, 1 995 (3) Crimes 75 at p. 79 (Raj.). 


Hindu Mas/ids 

7. Act to override other enactments. — The provisions of this Act shall have 
effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law 
for the time being in force or any instrument having effect by virtue of any law 
other than this Act. 

8. Amendment of Act 43 of 1951. — In Sec. 8 of the Representation of the Peo- 
ple Act, 1951, in sub-section (1). — 

(a) in CI . (/), the word "or" shall be inserted at the end; 

(b) after CI. (/') as so amended, the following clause shall be inserted, 
namely: — 

(z) Sec. 6 (offence of conversion of a place of worship) of the Places 
of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991." 

5. Sanjay Dutt v. State, 1995 Cr.L.J. 477 at p. 490 (S.C.); see also S.K.D. Laksh- 
manan Fireworks Industries, M/s. v. K.V. Sivarama Krishnan, 1995 Cr.L.J. 1384 
at p. 1390 (Ker.) (F.B.). 


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86. Hughes, Thomas Patrick, The Dictionary of Islam, Rupa and Company, New 
Delhi 1999. 

87. Burhamuddin, Ali Shaikh, Hidayah or Guidance, a book on Sunni law. 

88. Hussain, S. Abid, The National Culture of India, National Book Trust, 1 972. 

89. Majumdar, R.C., History of the Freedon Movement in India, Volume III, 
p.450-451, 1977. 

90. Majumdar, R.C., History of the Freedon Movement in India, Volume II, p. 108, 

9 1 . Ambedkar, B. R., Thoughts on Pakistan, Thacker and Company Limited, Bom- 
bay 1941. 

92. Husain, S. Abid., The National Culture of India, National Book Trust, 1972. 

93. Chaudhuri, Nirad C, Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Macmillan & 
Company Limited, London, 1951. 

94. Griffiths, Sir Percival, The British Impact on India, Macdonald & Company 
Limited, London, 1952. 

95. Khosla, Justice Gopal Das, Stern Reckoning, Dawn, December 4, 1946. 

96. Dawn, December 3, 1946. 

97. Dawn, 1946. 

98. Talbot Ian and Khizr Tiwana, The Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of 
India, Curzon Press, London, 1996. 

99. Moon, Sir Penderel, Divide and Quit, Chatto and Windus, London, 1 96 1 . 

100. Ambedkar, B. R., Thoughts on Pakistan, Thacker & Company Limited, Bom- 
bay, 1941. 

101. Kawashima Koji, Missionaries and a Hindu State, Oxford University Press, 

102. Mohsin M., Nepal: A Profde, Nepal Council of Applied Economic Research, 
Kathmandu, 1970. 

103. Mukherji, Shobha, The Republican Trends in Ancient India, Munshiram Mano- 
harlal, Delhi, 1969. 

104. Panikkar, Sardar K.M., Asia and Western Dominance, George Allen & Unwin, 
London, 1953. 

105. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Lectures of Sir William Meyer delivered at Madras Uni- 
versity in 1928, Sangam Books. 

106. Griffiths, Sir Percival, The British Impact on India, Macdonald & Co., London, 


A.S. Quereshi 

98, 99 



Ab. Luhaiy 


Abbasid King 


Abbas-Uddin Shah 


Abdar Rahman 



153, 161 

Abraham Lincoln 


Abu-ud-Hamid Lahori 


Adhai Din Ka Jhopra 



153, 161 

Adolf Hitler 



174, 179 


64, 187, 227, 229 

235,260, 277 

Amir of 






Ahmed Ali 


Ahmed Shah 


Ahmed Shah Abdali 

40, 64, 97 

Ahmed Tola 




Ahmedshah Abdali 


Aimer 31,35,58, 170, 171 

181,234, 235 




236, 263 



Fort in Ajmer 


Al Kufi 


Alamgir at Mathura 



a 80 

Alauddin Khilji's Kingdom 

* ! 237 


212, 213 

AlWert M. Hyaon 


Al-Beruni ^ 


Alexander the Oreat 

47, 223 



Ali Musaliar 
Aligarh Muslim University 
Allauddin Khilji 
Amartya Sen 

America 159, 

Amid Shah Daud Ghori 

Aminabagh Park 

Amir Khasru 

Amiya Bagchi 

Amiya Kumar Banerjee 

Anasagar Lake 

Andalusia Umayyad 

Andalusian Umayyad Dynasty 

Andhaka-Vrisni League 


Annie Besant 



Aravali Hills 



Arjun Singh 

Arunachal Pradesh 


Asafjahi Dynasty 





Assi-Khamba Nassid 
Atala Devi Masjid 

Aurobindo Ghose 


5, 6, 8, 12, 
69, SO, 


50, 171, 197 
,50, 197, 267 

19, 120, 182, 
165, 170 
164, 192, 237 
259, 260 
66, 108, 195 
230, 237, 260 

193, 199,201 
227, 276 

10, 30, 170 
18,39, 40, 66 
1 19, 125, 162 
182, 183, 197 


Hindu Masjids 

10, 19,29,21,22 
128, 166, 184 

Avatar of Vishnu 


B.R. Ambedkar 171-175, 207, 209, 243, 249 
Babar 1 9 

Babri Masjid 19, 21, 166, 167, 184, 128, 183 


Bahadur Shah 
Bahmam Shah 
Balkan Countries 


39, 66 

8, 127, 128, 189, 196 
198, 200, 201,203-205 
207, 208,210, 258 
Dhaka 23 
Barkat Singh 247 
BasantDube 191 
Beglar 106 
Begum Anwara Taimur 200 

Begum Ayesha 

Begum Khaleda 

Beijing Airport 

Ben Bella of Algeria 



Bengal Club 

Bengal Presidency 

Berlin Congress of 

Bertrand Russell 





Bhagat Ram Chand 


Bhagwad Gita 

Bhishma Pitamah 

Bhojshala at Dhar 




Bipan Chana 




192, 193,231,232 
233, 264, 278 
5, 35 

35, 100, 102, 106, 110 
158, 173, 185,269, 271 

170, 209,253 


102, 276 
151, 163, 164 


Bombay Presidency 

Bosnia Herzegovina 

Brahamaputra Valley 


Brandenberg Gate 










220, 222 

4, 193, 207, 220, 244 
272, 277 
40, 156, 166, 174, 175 
177, 178, 185, 193 
241,278, 279 


241,252, 255, 271 
274, 275, 277 

192, 227, 265 

213,216, 250 

Empire Building 

Lessor, David Arnold 

Buchanan Hamilton 
Buddha 8, 159, 

Buddha Deva Bose 

Bulgaria 174,207,212, 

Byzantian Emperor Heraclius 
Byzantine Emperor Justinian 


C. Home 38 

CM. Woodhouse 217 

Cachar 200 

Calcutta 50, 163, 168 

173, 186, 191 

Calcutta University 165 

Calicut 178 

Calicut Taluqs 178 

Californian 158 

Caliph Abdul Malek 226 

Caliph Omar 226 

Caliphate of Cordoba 214 

Canada 272 

Candarli Halil Pasha 216 

Canton 1 92 

Caretaker Shaikh Maqbool 108,110, 
Central Asia 162,232,233 

Central Bosnia 221 

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari 1 70 

Changez Khan 246, 248 



Charles Boyer 
Charles Darwin 

Chaturvedi Saheb of Hardoi 

Chiang Kai-Shek 

Chinese Emperor 
Chinese Turkestan 
Choroes II 


4, 164, 189, 192, 193 
231,232, 258, 261 
264, 265, 268, 277 

Christian Kingdo of, Castile and Aragon ^ 215 
Christian Serbs 
Church Eastern 
Church of Golotha 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre 
City of London Tavern 
City of Pleuna under Osman Pasha 
Cocanada: Now Kakinada 
Colin Heywood 

Communist Party of India 










Cyrus, King of Persia 
Czar i st 


D. R, Bhandarkar 
Dadabhoy Nauroji 

Dargah of Balapir Saheb 
Dargah Sharief at Ajmer 
Dargah Sharif , Ajmer 

220, 222 
224, 226 
252, 253 

156, 157, 158,266 
200, 244, 267, 268 



27, 32, 34, 35, 39 
40, 42,54,58,62,71 
77, 79, 102, 106, 181 
86, 181,277-8 



274, 278 


Dewan V. P. Madhav Rao 

Dharamdas Vora 



Digvijay Singh 
Dilawar Khan 
Don Bradman 

Dwarka Prasad Mishra's 


E. G. Havell 

E. R. Nea've 

East India Company 

East Pakistan 

Eastern Europe 

Eastern Turkistan Republic 

Edward Lutwak 





A ustro- Hungarian 


Eastern Roman 








F. S. Growse 



Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed 


Feroze Khan 

119, 120, 125 
86, 87 
189, 193 
193, 199 


174, 185,275,277 
200, 205 

203, 229, 223 



196,216, 267 
177, 178 

6, 58, 153, 159, 168 
174,197, 206,211 
216, 249, 260, 271 

203, 205 
246, 248 


Hindu Masjids 


Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay 
Firoz Shah Tughlaqi 
Fort of Rawar 
Fort William 

Frederick Barbarossa 



77, 78, 239 

4, 191,207, 220 

G. D. Khosla 
Gamal Abdel Nasser 
Gargi Chakravartty 
Garib Nawaz Ajmeri 

Ghiasuddin Balban 

Gobind Dev 
Goddess Mahakali 
Godfrey of Bouillon 
Great Britain 
Great Wall 

Greco-Turkish Treaty of Laussane 
Greece 174,206,207,211 

216, 222, 250 

Greece, Navarino 220 
Greek 206, 207, 220, 237, 268 

Growse 40 
Guangzhou 192 
Gujar Khan 246-248 
Gujarat 97,98,118,182,199, 
Guru Gobind Singh 163, 164 

Guru Nanak Pura 248 
Guru Nanak, Birthplace 248 
Gwalior 88, 239 

246, 248 

44, 100 

151, 161 
153, 170 

113, 114, 118 
39, 66 

172, 278 


H. E. Stapleton 
H. R. Nevill 
H.D. Deve Gowda 
Habib Bourguiba 



Hakem Bi A Illah 
Halaqu Khan 
Haram Al-Sharif 
Harbans Mukhia 

246, 248 
151, 162 

Hasan Gangu Abu' I Muzaffar, All-ud-din 119 

Hasrat Mohani 178,179 

Hastinapur 189' 199 

Hazrat Ajmali 79 

Hazrat Chishti 28 
Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin, 
Hasan Chisti 128,234,235 

Hazrat Khwaja-e-Azam 235 

Hazrat Nizammudin Aulia 234 

Hazrat Pandua 106, 107 

Helena 224 

Helmut Schiller 240 

Henry Cattan 223 

Henry Hardy Cole 18 

Herzegovina 213,221 

Hindu Kings 253 

Hindu Mahasabha 242 
Hindustan 28, 30, 228, 234, 238, 241 

253, 265, 266, 268 

Hispano-Romans 214 

Hong Kong 192 

Hospital Verandah 248 

Howrah District Gazetter 112 

Howrah District of West Bengal 1 08 

Humayun Kabir 85 

Hungarian King Anew 225 

Hungary 21 1 

Hwen Thasang 34 


I. K. Gujral 
Iberian Peninsula 
Ibrahim Khan 
Ibrahim Naib Barbak 
Ibrahim Shah of Jaunpur 

Iftikhar Hussain Khan 
Illahi Bakhsh 



78, 77 

Indian Leaders 
Indian Union 

1,6, 8, 18, 19,21-23 
32,47,68, 69, 126, 151 
153, 154, 156, 157, 158 
160, 162, 163, 166-168 
170, 171, 175-176, 181-187 
192, 193, 195, 197-200, 204 
205,207, 208,210,211,213 
233-235, 236-238, 240, 241 
242, 244-246, 249, 250-252 
258,264. 268,271,275-279 




Indira Gandhi 












1,6, 50, 63,69, 80, 108 
128, 153, 154, 156, 159 
161, 162, 164, 167, 168 
170, 177, 179, 185, 187 
195, 196,211,214,215 
217, 223, 228, 230, 231 
236, 238, 242, 248, 251 
260, 261,272 
160, 187,210, 63 
203, 226 
207,213,216, 221,226 

J. D. Beglar 
J. H. Ravenshaw 
J. Khowles 
Jadunath Sarkar 
Jaisinh Dev 
Jaisinh Solanki 
Jallianwala Bagh at Aitsar 
Jama Masjid 
Jammu & Kashmir 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

Jesus Christ 
Jews in Czarist 

Jonathan Kimberely 

Joseph Daviditch Milik Beglaroff 
Josip Broz Tito 


K. M. Munshi 

K. S. Lai 

K. T. Satarawala 


198, 69, 77, 78 

180,5, 30,35,38 
128, 175 
38, 151,64 
4, 192 
72, 77, 78 
85, 151, 154, 155, 170 
172, 193,207,267 


7, 224, 226,260, 


K. V. Gopala Menon 

Kailash Nath Kaiju 
Kamal Ataturk 

Kashi Vishwanath 


242, 197 

10, 28,32, 34, 35,38 

64, 265 
128, 245 
10, 70, 183 
8, 160, 186,210, 245, 250, 265 
257, 258 

Kautilya's Arthshastra 254 
Kerala 252, 253, 255 

Kesava Deva 6, 63 

Khaleda Begum 208 

Khaleeq Begum 50 

Khalifa Hakeem Bi A Illah 19 

Khilafat Kingdo 177 

Khirki 119 

Khruschev's Soviet Union 266 
Khulna 203, 205 

Khurasah 239 

Khushab 248 

Khwaja Kamal Khan 77 

Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Dargah of 54 

Khwaja Muhammad Yusuf 233 

Abdullah 226 

A hmed Shah Bahaman i 1 25 

Birena 256 

David 223 

Harsh Vardhan 168 

Jaisthiti Malla 255 

Louis VIII 225 

Mahena 258 

Porus 47 

Richard 225 
Kingdom of 

Serbs, Croats and Slovens 
Koji Kawashima 

Konard III in Germany 
Konark in Orissa 

Krishna at Gokul 
Krishna Janmabhoomi 
Kuldeep Nayar 



70, 100, 180 
216, 222 

203, 205 


Hindu Masjids 





1 1 1 

I adakh 

LaUdl\I 1 

1 yZ 

1 anu N/Tintn 


L 1 1 


t < 1 1 T) 11A T3< 

13 1,1 /Z, ZJ4, ZJ3 


T Q Hindi iti 


T al RaJ-iaz-liir ^Koctri 

Ldi Ddnduur ondsin 



T atlP Pnnlf»i<i 




Leon Trotskv 

F.p.sIip Rrown 

1 Z/J, Z / o 



Liberal Party 


Lieutenant Conner 


Lieutenant Ward 


Lion Heart 




Lokamanya Tilak 



87, 120, 243 

244, 251, 277 


21, 173 




M Ahid Ali Khan 

iTi. nuiu nil lviiuii 

1 Ort 

M Chakravarti 

M. Mohsin 






Macmillan Company 


Madhya Pradesh 

79, 80, 87, 88 


39, 42 

Mahabat Khan 




Mahadev Desai 


Mahammad Nagim 

153, 161 

Mahamud of Ghazni 

8, 40, 32, 34, 35, 58 


Mansingh of Jaipur 


Mahavir Swami 
Mahena Dev 
Mahmud Pasa 
Mahmud Shylch Faridu 
Major C.E. Luard 
Makhan Singh 

63, 66,69, 127, 155 
161, 162, 238 


'd, DinAttak 153,161 
88, 96 
168, 169, 176 

175-177, 179, 252, 253 



Malik Kapur 

1 19 


5, 50 




Gaun Shankar 


Gautam Nag 


Gobind Dev 






Kam Lalla 


Sniv or Shankar 

1 12 


^\ r\r\ 



198, 201 



iviao z-euong 

193, 231, 232 

Maoist China 

-I s s~ 


Martanda varma 









Cyan Vapi 


Jama or Dina, Kanoj 

30, 32 


88, 98, 120 

Makhdum Jahaniya 


Masjids Hindu 


Mathew Atmore Sheering 


Mathura 11,39,40,63,64,66 

127, 155, 183 

193, 199 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 

85, 173, 183 

Maulana Ghulam Ghareeb, 

Nawaz Ajmeri 

234, 235 

Maulana Muhammad Ali 

171, 178, 197 


Max Webber 


McMahon Line 


Mecca 9, 19, 

69, 71,226, 232 


19, 225 




216, 220 





Michael Edwards 


Minhaj Siraj Jurjani 


Mir Baqi 


Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 




Modern Lebanon 
Mohammed Ali Jinnah 
Mohammed Sukarno 
Mohandas Gandhi 


169, 170, 196,209 

1,4, 151, 156, 163 
168, 170, 171, 175 
177, 178, 179, 197 
207, 241,242 
254, 263, 266 



Mohemed Ali 


Moinul Haq Chovvdhury 


Mokam Singh 












Morris Rossabi 




Mortimer Durand 




Agent of 

O f S 



Adina in Pandua 

1 AA 

1 00 


1 b3 

Bijamandal at Vidisha 

170, 182, 183 

Nawab Begum Sahib 's 




Quwwatul Islam 

10, 44,50, 54, 170 

Mount Abu, Dilwara 








Mughal Emperor 


Mughal India 


Muhammad bin Qasim 


Muhammad bin Tughlaq 

1 19 

Muhammad Ghauri 

35, 47, 58, 62, 166 

187, 198, 234 


Muhammad of Ghor 


Muhammad Saheb 


Muhammad Shah 

113, 114 

Muhammad Shah Begda 


Muhammadan Tassildar 


Mukand Singh 


Mulayam Singh Yadav 


Mulkraj Anand 



28, 186, 196,207 

Munshi Abdul Hameed Bihari 235 

Munshi Illahi Bakhsh, of Malda 1 07 

Munshiram Manoharlal 




Muslim League 

173-175, 178, 196 

206, 207, 244-246 

249, 250, 269 















23, 24, 27 

Nara Village 


Narayanhiti Palace 


Nasiruddin Mahmud 




Nazi Germany 









Nepal 196 

, 255, 256, 258, 278 

Netaji Subhas 



77, 78 

New Delhi 5, 9, 2 

1,23,44, 47,50, 62 

77, 98 

, 106, 120, 125, 126 

158, 160 

, 170, 173, 179, 180 

182, 184-186, 201,202 

213,238, 248, 252 

New York 185,206 

,218,219, 260, 262 

New Zealand 


Nirad C. Chaudhri 


Niranjan Verma 


Nizam of Hyderabad 


Nizamuddin Ahmad's Tabqat-i-Akbari 238 

Norman Itzkowitz 


North Africa 


North African Colonies 


North Korea 








218, 221, 222 




216, 220 



Tursun Beg 




Oxford University Press 



P.C. Joshi 


P. V., Narasimha Rao 20, 2 1 , 1 80, 1 83, 1 84 
Pakistan 3,8,127,128,151 

157, 158, 170-175 
186, 187, 189, 196 
205, 207-210, 245 
260, 262, 271 
223, 225, 226 


N. K. Bezbaruah 28 
N. Thiagarajan 152 

N.E. Balaram 151,164 
Nadeem Rizvi 180 Palestine 

Nadir Shah 162 Palitana 


Hindu Masjids 


153, 170 

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 



153, 170 


191, 196, 251 


97, 1 80 



Percival Griffiths ICS 

244, 278 

Philip Agustus, French King 


Pir Ilahi Bux 


Poet Somadev 




Pope Urban II 

224, 226, 228 

Prem Cnand 


Presidencies of Bengal, 

Bombay and Maas 

271, 274, 275 

Presidency College in Calcutta 


President Ayub Khan 


President Musharraf 


Prithivi Narayan Shah 


Prithivi Raj Chauhan 30, 

47, 54,58, 181 

234, 235, 196 

Prophet Muhammad 226 

, 229, 259, 266 


128, 158, 173 

176, 259, 277 





Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah 
Qamar Ali 

Qazi Ghulam Hussain 

Qila Rai Pithora 
Queen Elizabeth II 

Quran Sharief 
Qutbuddin Aibak 
Qutbuddin Aibak 
Qutub Minar 
Quwwatul Islam Masjid 

205, 245 

24, 207, 227, 238 

5,23, 50,58, 166, 238 
27, 44,47, 62,88, 125 

of Ajmer 


Pavapati Jaisinh Dev 


Rammohan Roy 

163, 185,278 

Vijaya Ghana 



58, 120 

Rajmohan Gandhi 

170, 171 



Rajya Sabha 


Ram Manohar Lohia 


Ramesh Joshi 




Rana Katira 


Rana Pratap 

163, 164 

Rani Ahilyabi Holbar 


Ratan Tata Road 








Rehmat Ali 


Renderel Moon 


Revolutionary Socialist Party 266 

Richard M. Eaton 


Richard, English King I 


River Nile 


River Padma 

204, 205 

River Salef in Silicia 


Robert Clive 






Rola Village 


Roman Emperor 








Romila Thapar 

151, 160, 167 

Ruamahalaya Complex 



97, 180, 182, 183 






173,192, 220, 278 

Russo-Turkish War 


R S 

R. Nath 12 S. Abid Hussain 241,243 

R.C. Majumdar 242 S. K. Saraswati 107 

R.N. Kaul 127 Sachin Tandulkar 264 

Raay Macdonald 172 Sadanshah Faqir ?, Sahadev Joshi 1 13, 1 14, 1 18 

Rabinanath Tagore 165 Saddam Hussain 262 

Radha 12,66 Saiffuddin . 232 

Raigunj 100 Saiyid A.A. Rizvi 236 

Raja Saladin 225 

Ajaya Pala Deva 39 San Stefano 220 

Bhoj 86-88,96 Sanatan 159 

Bikramajit 5, 50 Sankara Kurup 271 

Ganesh 106 Sankaran Nair 179 

Jaichand Rathore 28,30,35,234 Sant Singh 247 




194, 235 

Sarat Chana Chatterji 


Sardar K.M. Panikkar 


Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 


Sarvapalli Gopal 


Sassad Zaheer 


Saudi Arabia 


Saughat Khan 





118, 199 





Serbia 6,212,213,220-222 



Shahi Imam Ahmed Bokhari 



40, 119, 120 

Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi 


Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali 


Shaukat Ali 

177, 242 

Sheetal "Niwas 


Sheikh Hasina 

204, 205 

Sheikh Mujibur Rehman 







163, 164 

Shobha Mukherji 


Shobha Mukherji 


Shri Kanhaiyalal Munshi 





28, 200 


99, 181 

Sidi Nawab 


Sikh Landowner 

Sikhana Mahalla 





112, 186 




192, 231,233 



Sinkiang League 


Sinkiang or Xinjiang 


Sinkiang Vighur 


Sitaram Ghoshal 




Sjddhraj Jaisinh Solanki 


Slobodan Milosevic 






Somnath 127,153-155,161,199 

South Delhi 


Soviet Republic of Central Asia 



6, 164,211 


Spanish 214,215 
Sri Krishna 11,12,39,63,64,155 

159, 189, 192-205 
209,210, 254, 265 

Sri Lanka 


Sri Mulam 


Sri Padmanabha 


Sri Ram 19,21,159,164,253 



Srinagar Dashnami Akhara 


St. Bernard 


St. Sophia 

216, 217 

Stanley Lane-Poole 


State of Manipur 


State of Sikkim 


State of Venice 


Statue of Hubal 


Stephen P. Ladas 

206, 212 

Sterling Publishers 


Sucharan Mondal 


Sudhansu Chaki 





A L J II ' J TT 

Abdulhamid 11 




Bahadur Shah 


Firoz Khan 






23, 24 

Ghari 's Tomb 






Jalaluddin Mohammad bhah 




Mehmet II 


1 4 / J f~" I 

Muhammad Ghauri 


a a* r r r 

Muley Hacen 


of Egypt 


of Turkey 


Shasu 'd Din 


Shasuddin Iltutmish 

Zj, oU, 15Z 





Sikandar Shah 


Sultanate of Delhi 


Sun Yat Sen 

Susobhan Sarkar 

168, 170- 

Swami Dayananda 


Swami Dayananda Saras Wati 




Syed Ahmed Khan 

5, 24, 50, 197 

Syed Mahmudul Hasan 









Taliban 186,187,227,229 

240, 254, 260 



Hindu Masjids 

Taragarh Fort 


Tariq Ibn Ziyad 


Taslima Nasrin 

8, 127, 128,210 







11, 12 





Mahaban, Nand and Rohini Palace 10 



Ram Lalla 



87, 88 

Shiva at Jawahir Nagar 1 27 

Temples Brahmanical 






Thomas de Quincey 


Thomas Patrick Hughes 



192, 193,23,277,278 





Timur Lang 






Tomara Rajas 


Trans Jordan 




Treaty of Aianople 







6, 174, 175, 186,206 

213,217, 250, 266 

Twang, NEFA 


Tzarist Russia 




Vamik D. Volkan 


Vasant Kunj 




Vice Consulate at Rangoon 


Viceroy Lord Curzon 



179 182 229 




Vin^pnf A ^mith 

V Illwdll r\. Oil Mill 



96 170 192 201 

/w, I /V/, IV—, -v J 

Vishwanath Pratan Sinsh 








\/ r i n (i 7\ v n n 

V L 1 1 lUU V ClI 1 

9 11 163 


W.H. Allen 




Warren Hastings 

274, 275 



West Asia 


West Bengal 

203, 100, 266 

West Macott 


Western Anatolia 


Western China 

Western Mast Saurashtra 


Willaim Shakespeare 


William Ewart Gladstone 


William Gladstone 




World Trade Centre 



Udaygiri Caves 229 
Ujjain 5,35,50 
Umayyad Khalifa al-Wahid 214 
Ummah 1 56 

University of 
Arizona 9 
Berkeley 156 
Cambridge 267 
USA 4,164,187,192,227 

229, 260, 262, 272 


Uttar Pradesh 

V. K. Krishna Menon 




Xinjiang Uygur 
Xinjiang Uygur 

Yamuna at Mahaban 

Yashwant Rao Holkar 
Yigal Allon 



Zainal Abedin 
Zainal Clan 

Ziyauddin Barani 

192, 265 


199, 253 


203, 204 

227, 238, 262 

Hindu Masjids 

Symbolises the longstanding conflict between Hindus and Muslims, and tries to 
offer a solution. From Emperor Akbar to Rajiv Gandhi, many have tried to build 
bridges of friendship between the two communities but all of them, including 
Mahatma Gandhi, have failed. As the last five decades have proved, the partition of 
1947 did not solve the problem. 

Several scholars have, over the years, listed hundreds of temples and described their 
desecration but none before the author has drawn a clear distinction between a 
mandir converted into a masjid in contrast to a mosque built with the rubble of a 
demolished temple. Even Cunningham, who toured north India extensively in the 
course of 1838-1855 and published his surveys in 23 voluminous reports, did not 
make the distinction. 

Prafull Goradia has visited every masjid or dargah that has been discussed. Not 
alone, but accompanied by a research scholar as well as an excellent photographer. 
He now appeals to Muslims to abandon and not use these ill-gotten or looted edifices 
for praying to their one and only god, Allah.